Developer Deals Shortchange Affordable Housing Program in Boston

With little outside oversight, Boston's powerful yet secretive Redevelopment Agency has squandered millions of dollars that were supposed to help build affordable housing by cutting deals with developers and allocating funds to other uses.

A Boston Globe investigation has revealed that since 2000, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has spent just $18 million on affordable housing out of the $75 million the agency should have collected. "The rest either has not been collected, was diverted to other purposes, or languishes in a BRA account," reports Sean P. Murphy. He weaves a lurid tale of lax oversight, poor accounting, deal-making for mayoral friends, and a passive board that habitually votes to support whatever staff recommends. 

"The physical transformation of Boston may well be the enduring legacy of Menino’s record 20-year watch," adds Murphy. "But the BRA may be squandering the opportunity created by the historic boom to channel residential development to where it is needed most — toward middle-income Bostonians who have watched the cost of living rise twice as fast as their earnings since 2005, according to a recent Northeastern University study."


Full Story: BRA cuts deals at expense of affordable housing

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00