Information session on affordable / workforce housing development

An information session on The Beverly apartment complex will be held tonight at the Boston Public Library in Dudley Square, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

The Beverly is the "affordable / workforce housing" development currently finishing up construction across from North Station.

Each of the 239 apartments will be rented to those earning a specific amount of money, based on what's known as the Area Median Income (AMI).

Some units will be rented to those making as little as 30% of AMI (around $25,000 for two people), while others will go to those making up to 165% of AMI (about $135,500 for two people), according to the developer and city. (Details on the AMI and qualifying data, on the BPDA website.)

Who will get the apartments, assuming more people apply than there is supply, is based on a lottery that is expected to take place in mid-September. Applications to be entered into the lottery are due by September 6. Applications may be picked up at the information session (perhaps they'll be holding more?) or you apply online.

More information on the financing of this project can be found here: Is This Complex Affordable Housing Deal a Promising Model or a Unicorn?



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As opposed to...?

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The usual sell-it-to-the-highest-bidder? Why does this of all things get your moral hackles up? All public housing has a lottery element--you have s better idea?


Get government out of the housing business entirely. If you're staging a lottery in the first place, that's clearly a sign that your demand for housing within a community outweighs the supply.

What's the point of having a lottery for this tower? You show me people clamoring so greatly to live in this tower, I'll show you a businessman clamoring to build another tower. Now, who's stopping that? People bitching about shadows and homeowners who expected for government to protect their shelter profiteering enterprise into perpetuity.

Watch "Show Me a Hero" if you have HBO access at all.

Of course people are

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Of course people are clamoring to get into a building that is below market rate. Of course there is huge demand for anything that seems "affordable" at this point. The developer could only do that by getting subsidies/tax breaks from the City - hence why developers all around the city are clamoring to build the same thing. Without the City stepping in here it would have be yet another market rate building just like what is going up in every neighborhood. Businessmen aren't going to build something and price it under market out of the goodness of their hearts.

Mostly NIMBYism

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Mostly NIMBYism because every time someone proposes anything larger than a triple decker outside of the core of downtown, everyone gets their hackles up about how these developments are too big for the character of the neighborhood.

The "character"

That belongs in the Code Word Hall of Fame alongside "different crowd."

"Wahhh, my property value." I really DGAF that some person in their 60s is going to lose $100,000 that never actually sat in their pocket while everybody else either pays $1,700 for a 1BR or leaves the city.

What's wrong with $1700 for a 1br?

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Sounds reasonable to me.

When I graduated, my first job paid $27K/yr and 1br apartments went for $7-800.

Now those jobs pay twice as much and the rent is barely more than twice as much.

A 50k job is take home ~2,200

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A 50k job is take home ~2,200 a month after taxes less $1,700 rent. $500 left over is enough for utilities, food, insurance, retirement savings and student loans? NOPE

This is why young people don't have cars and aren't buying homes. Housing and loan debt eats way too much of their pay to afford such things unless they use credit cards, which beget more problems.


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There's nothing in the constitution that says after graduating college you're entitled to your own 1br apt apt in the heart of a major city. If you're making $50k (take home is more like 2700), get a roommate and pay $1k-1200. That's about 28% of your gross pay, and leaves you $1500 for expenses. Yes, you don't have a ton of disposable income at 22-23, but that's not new.


Astonishing how many people I see who just, oh my God, are over roommates. Cool story. Give me a holler when your finances are in the crapper later in life because you decided to piss away money on a place to (expletive), sleep, and shower in your 20s.

Then don't do it

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I don't really care either way. It's not a "cool story", it's reality. If you want more disposable income and want to live in the city, get a roommate. If you don't want a roommate, live in Framingham.

As of July 2017, the average

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As of July 2017, the average apartment rent in Framingham,MA is $1,303 for a studio, $1,495 for one bedroom, $1,719 for two bedrooms, and $1,985 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Framingham has increased by 2.0% in the past year.

Essentially where Boston was 10 years ago.

And ...

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How much does a car cost per month and how much does parking or a T pass cost per month to get into the city.

No savings.

But here's the thing

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Median rent in Hyde Park is the same as Framingham, and commuting using a Link Pass is doable.

Or you could spend $500 more a month and live in Southie. It comes down to choices.


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If someone is making $50k just out of college and doesn't want to pay Boston rents, they can live in Framingham with a roommate and pay $850/mo in rent (about 20% of gross income). What's the issue?

Take home pay from 50k isn't

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Take home pay from 50k isn't as high as 2,700 a month and unless one wants to continuing living like a student sharing bedrooms rent isn't going to split into anything 'affordable'. Boston is at the point shithole studios are renting for close to over 2k a month now not including all utilities.

You forget a lot of graduates have monthly student loan payments in excess of 400-500 a month to contend with as well. Throw in a MBTA pass or car payments, insurance, utilities, etc and there's very little if any money left over at the end of the month for savings.

There's good financial reasons why more young people are living at home. Otherwise they'll never save enough to buy a home of their own, car, or even have a dime to their name for retirement thanks to the boomers pillaging social security.


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Why isn't it?

So that's $3,200. Assume a couple hundred for a 401k (at 5%) and another couple hundred for health insurance, and you're at about 2700-2800.

Where are you getting the $400-500/mo student loan payment?

The average student leaves college with about $25,000 in student loan debt. The monthly payment on a $25,000 student loan is approximately $280 (assuming 6.8% interest and a 10-year repayment plan), which can cause financial strain if you're not prepared for it.

Regardless, of course there isn't a lot of money left for savings. Was this different 10yrs ago? 20? 30? Nobody is arguing that making $50k today allows one to lead an extravagant lifestyle.

Where are you getting that student loan payment?

Hell, where are you getting a 50K a year job?

And leaving college with $25,000 in student loan debt? At this point, today's 18 year olds should wait until they're 30 to borrow money to attend college. You're going to live longer anyway, go work stiff jobs and defer the expenditure.

Sometimes they are out of character

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There have been many proposals that are clearly much larger than their surroundings to the point where it makes sense to have them made a different sizes, and developers do that on purpose to make it easier to get things approved by making concessions after.

I can think of multiple large

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I can think of multiple large projects in West Roxbury currently approved and starting construction, and they are market rate and probably going to be 600k+ per condo, or in the 2k+ range for rent. Hyde Park also has a few things going on, with some large developments proposed out in Readville. What are you talking about ?

Rents have already leveled

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Rents have already leveled out/dropped a bit. Developers who were making rental buildings downtown have now even started to pivot them to condos. When the condo/buying market starts to cool, then building will start to slow, too. Developers aren't idiots and can see the trends - they aren't going to flood the market if they can't make their money back on their investment.

That would also imply lower

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That would also imply lower property values, which would hurt homeowners. There's just so much demand you would not really be able to control prices.

Read above

I have no sympathy for people who fail to make money from buying houses. Absolutely none.

EDIT: It's like the cab medallion thing. Hard to feel sorry for people who depended on the word of government to guarantee a profitable investment vehicle for them for doing absolutely nothing.

Not at all similar

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No, it's not like cabs. Most people aren't treating them like short term investments, and not everyone has to move here just because they want to.

Your resentment over people with modest properties is irrational.

Demanding that every neighborhood be densified just so anyone that might decide to move to an desirable expensive market can find a low cost place to live is not a long term solution, nor is it ideal for anyone.

Not an equal comparison

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There's no practical limit to the number of medallions, there are limits on a finite amount of land. The vast majority of people are not trying "to make money" in the way you mean, as a short term investment. Different housing markets are more expensive for reasons that are more than how much housing exists somewhere. Moving somewhere and getting upset that there isn't attainable housing in all locations at all times sounds like resentment.

Except that's not exactly why

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Except that's not exactly why their houses are worth more. They are in a desirable location, and they bought a long time ago, and made their payments, and now people are willing to pay more. Sometimes housing prices go up.

Two things

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1. downzoning hurts homeowners if drops in price hurt homeowners. Land is worth more if more units can be built on it.

2. How does lower property values hurt homeowners? You are indexed to the market. If you get a lot of money for your property, you will have to pay some similarly inflated price for rent or another place to live. Meanwhile, your taxes go up.

Two things

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1. No one mentioned downzoning, there's a variety of zoning already, and it's not always true that land is worth more if you pile a bunch of construction all over it.

2. Lower property values would imply that they item they payed for is worth less. That's obvious. Also, when people sell, they often move to other markets.

Hyde Park on River towards

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Hyde Park on River towards Kelly Field has new housing being built but too transit poor currently to be super high rent.

You aren't making any sense.

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First you rail at the idea that people need to do this for basic shelter, then you claim the govt should stay out and let the market decide. You need to pick one or the other, assuming you actually care about either position and are not just complaining for the sake of complaining.

No I don't

I can pick both. Ultimately, Boston is small and finite, and living here will become an even greater privilege as the world's population (and the percentage of it trying to flee horrible countries for less horrible America) increases.

do this more actually in actual working class neighborhoods

We need work force housing in Dorchester near the subway stations. The don't have to be more than 3 stories, just smaller 500 square foot units. It would be great if they could approve micro units. But if you just build something small with one parking space per unit the market rate could be brought down to $1k.

I don't know

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But I do know I'd be a bit annoyed paying $1,940 for the same apt my neighbor is paying $673 for.

Ok great

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Where do you live? You'd be more than willing to pay more in taxes, or rent so the person next to you can pay less?

Annoyed until ...

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You need someone to babysit.

You want someone to clean your place as side work.

You need someone to fix your faucet.



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This isn't a new concept. Income restricted housing is extremely common, and it's a much better solution than just relying on massive amounts of construction.