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Study Shows Segregation Linked to Housing Shortage in Massachusetts

A study from the Boston Foundation shows that besides homelessness and housing costs, Massachusetts housing debt also fuels the racial wealth gap and segregation.
July 17, 2019, 12pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Willem van Bergen

A lack of housing is exacerbating segregation in Massachusetts according to a study from the Boston Foundation. "'It’s not an earth-shattering surprise that Greater Boston has a great deal left to do when it comes to addressing the legacy of social and economic segregation,' said the foundation’s CEO, Paul Grogan. 'What may be surprising is the level to which overt redlining tactics designed to keep racial and ethnic minorities out of some areas has been replaced by economic, social, and zoning barriers,'" Tim Logan reported for the Boston Globe.

The demand for housing in the Boston area has continued, but new supply is limited, and concentrated in a few locations. "Modestino found that only 19 cities and towns are building at a fast enough clip to do their “fair share” — based on population — to create the 135,000 new housing units that Governor Charlie Baker has called for by 2025 to meet housing demand," Logan reports.

Beyond where housing is being built, there's also the factor of what housing type is allowed in what areas. Even when new supply does become available in segregated neighborhoods, it might only be single-family homes, which many cannot afford.

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Published on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 in The Boston Globe
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