Walsh: Top city officials should live in Boston, after all, but they should have more time to move here

In a message to the City Council today, Mayor Walsh says an outpouring of objections has convinced him to retain a city ordinance that requires city department heads and other top appointees to live in Boston.

But, Walsh continues, the current tough Boston housing market can make it difficult for new appointees to find a place to live here in the six months they currently have, so he wants to up the time requirement to a year.

The council will consider the proposal at its Wednesday meeting, which begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

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How Ironic

City hall approves copious amounts of luxury housing projects amidst skyrocketing prices all around the city, top city officials get priced out of Boston.

I know it wasn't Marty's administration that was running the show, but I'm still amused. And ashamed.

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Not so fast...

I'm pretty sure I read the president of the BTU state that (paraphrasing here) the school system is awesome, or at least the teachers are 100% awesome, so much so that any attempt at school reform is probably just a naked attack on the very concept of public education.

At least we know that in one year's time, we'll get a new BPS so that in two year's time the leader of our school district will maybe someone who lives here.

Or stays in a hotel on our dime like Carol Johnson did. (I think?)

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Yup

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It's not a year to "find a place to live," it's a year to find/pull strings for a magnet/charter/private school seat for their kid, who is too good to spend 10 hours a week on a bus going to school in a neighborhood the parents disapprove of.

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If you have strings to pull,

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If you have strings to pull, it shouldn't take a year. "too good to spend 10 hrs /week on a bus to a school in a neighborhood the parents disapprove of", choosing school for children is a bit more complicated than that. Nice to read an anon's perspective though, just kidding.

No two-tiered system

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Please. Department heads and cabinet members are among the most highly-paid employees in the city. If any city employees can afford to live in Boston, it's them. Why should they get special treatment, while the average city employee earning much less has to figure out how to find and afford housing here?

If the requirement is unworkable, scrap it for everyone. No two two-tiered system, it's just not fair. Let them see how the rest of us live.

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Pimping Ain't easy

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Joe Rull will be scraping by at $150,000 a year. If I am right, what one can afford for a mortgage (assuming he has no equity from his Norwell home and his wife doesn't work) is 3 times one's annual salary. You just can't find anything in Boston for below $450,000. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I challenge anyone to find a 3 or 4 bedroom home anywhere within the City of Boston for below $450,000.

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No, that's how mortgages work ...

First, you can get plenty of good-sized condos and single-family homes in the city of Boston for $450,000. You just can't live at the Mandarin.

Second, the "1/3 salary" theory of affordability hasn't worked for years. Interest rates play into it much more (and, amount you have for a down payment, even more more).

If his household makes $150,000 per year (assuming his wife doesn't work), you can easily afford a $700,000 - $800,000 home (20% down).

Your payment on a $500,000 loan will be $3,500 per month (including interest, city of Boston property taxes, and homeowners insurance), or 28% of your gross income.

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My challenge stands, good sir

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Show me a place, any place, in the city where Rull could live that would cost less than $700,000. Admit it, there is absolutely no place, anywhere within the City of Boston, where he could find a place.

(I do hope you caught the sarcasm, though.)

Waquiot, Are you trolling or

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Waquiot, Are you trolling or just ignorant?

I challenge you to find a single home ABOVE $700K/unit in Dorchester. FYI Dorchester is fully part of the city of Boston, as are many neighborhoods south of Newbury St.).

If it's a good enough place to live for the mayor, it should be good enough for anyone below him.

Worst thing is

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I still don't know what my end game is or would be.

I suppose if someone came up with a really nice house in Boston for, say, $400,000, I would have knocked it somehow.

But yeah, like Dan notes, I was mocking the fact that a high ranking city official is claiming that 5 months after getting his job, he cannot find a place to live in Boston, while somehow his minions are able to find or have housing. Less sarcasm and more satire.

Thanks for the million dollar listing, Pete. I suppose if his Norwell house has enough equity on it, he might be able to eek that one out. If not, I suppose he might be able to find something, but even with the change asked for, he will only have 6 more months to find something he can afford. Good luck to him with that.

Yea, and maybe he likes sitting in an hour of traffic....

each day, each way.

Or maybe he takes the greenbush line for 2K a year.

(I actually noticed that a year pass from North Scituate to South Station is 3K a year, and from Dedham to South Station its $2,268 a year. I would have thought Dedham would have been much cheaper. I guess they can take the bus.)

That's the price he has to pay

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It's not like there are any properties, anywhere in the city, for sale that he could afford on the peanuts he is being paid.

Thanks for getting me back on point, Pete.

20% down is the hard part.....

Saving 150k for a down payment is hard if you make that much money.

And it is not easy to afford a 500k mortgage making 150k a year. It's doable, but not easy.

Residential taxes are pretty cheap in Boston though, so that would help. But there really aren't that many houses in that price range anyway. Condos yes, houses no.

if it's not pondside with eleventy bedrooms

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you might as well be living in a cardboard box. god forbid a city official live next to the plebs in west roxbury or roslindale - I mean, they ride bikes to work there! can you believe that?

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Hire people who already LIVE in Boston

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Have your cake & eat it, too.

Surely, with a population of over 600,000 and growing number of residents, there are *some* qualified people.

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Stone's throw to Dedham

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Or else some has issues with the 1912 annexation.

I will say this. Back when the city started getting serious about residency in the 1990s, I was talking to someone who said that since their husband, who just got a city job, "had" to move to Boston, so they moved to Readville since it's "barely in Boston". And that's when I became pro residency.

Perhaps Rull could find something in Readville or Fairmont he can afford.

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