Boston has long suffered from a housing shortage, and even the multitudes of units going up all over (dig our New Development Heatmap!) aren't enough. Doubly worse for families, there just is not that much larger-scale housing in the city (and by larger-scale we don't mean huge—we mean an extra bedroom here and there). And! The larger-scale housing that is out there and that is being built is not necessarily on the affordable side. Yet the shorthand argument against building larger-scale apartments and condos is that the demand isn't there, that the demand is instead for micro-apartments, one-bedrooms, alcove studios, etc., that the argument worth having now is how to render Boston hip enough for younger singletons and couples.
Now comes word that Boston officials expect a jump in enrollment for preschool through second grade, sending them scrambling to find as many as 75 new classrooms. Part of the reason for this enrollment jump is that families are keeping their kids in the public schools. It's that damned, post-gentrification desirability of a huge swathe of Boston. Per James Vaznis in The Globe:
[School officials] said fewer students are leaving the system in the first and second grades, a sign that their parents are satisfied with the quality of schools. They also said more young families appear to be staying in the city. Parents in Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, for instance, have pushed for an elementary school in one of their neighborhoods. See? Micro-apartments are well and fine and the invisible hand will do what it damn well pleases. But Boston has need of new three-bedrooms, too. Yet, the vast majority of the new apartments being built, never mind what's already in the supply chain, is on the smaller side. Stay tuned. Class is now in session.
· Boston Schools Brace for Enrollment Increase in Early Grades [Globe]
· Our Updated New Development Heatmap: Then There Were 50 [Curbed Boston]
· A Boston Inventory Tale [Curbed Boston]
· Curbed Boston Awards '12: the Year's Stupidest/Silliest Feud [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Is for Lovers (Just Not Their Kids): a New Apt. Dynamic [Curbed Boston]