Developer Deals Shortchange Affordable Housing Program in Boston
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."