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State shelters hit records for unhoused families not seen since World War II


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On CA and how they’ve spent 17.5 billion(!) dollars in the last four years on their homeless and every year the number of homeless people continues to rise. That’s crazy!

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/07/11/us/california-homeless-spending/index...

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Its because home values keep going up and being unattainable for most.

Combined with rising rents over the past 4 years is not helping the situation.

Then of course combined with NIMBY. Yes 17.5b has been spent but alot of NIMBY is going on where they want to build large complexes. No one wants them near them. Gosh for bid those luxury condo owners live next to an affordable housing complex.

Unless we start extending our middle finger to NIMBYs and just start building very large Toronto-style high rise residential buildings, we're going to see this happen more and more.

We just cannot build this crap fast enough.

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It's so heartening to get mailers from do-gooders like the Cambridge Citizens Coalition insisting that leaving 2000 people on the wait list for affordable housing in Cambridge is fine, actually (when the actual number of people who would like to live in affordable housing is far higher, it's just that most people don't even bother getting on the list) and also gaslighting by saying the current "best practices" are actually thing that they opposed a couple of years ago.

But tall buildings are bad, especially when those tall buildings have poor people in them (tall buildings are fine in Kendall where they generate tax base which keeps property taxes low for wealthy single-family homeowners and residential landlords).

Lather, rinse, repeat across the state and all of the sudden there are more people than there are houses, so it's a very expensive game of musical chairs and more and more people are standing by the sidelines.

Then add to that WGBH writing completely braindead articles about how building more housing in Boston and Cambridge gentrifies the neighborhood (what, is it 1983?). Landlords are somehow evil, profit-maximizing capitalists squeezing every last cent out of tenants and also bumbling idiots who only realize what market rents are when a new building gets built nearby? Please.

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Building more housing sounds like a solution to lower housing costs. There's a problem with this though. People like me who have a larger income don't just own one home. I have two homes and I'm in the early planning stages for a third. People like me who don't rent out their real estate take away from the housing supply. Boston also has a lot of home owners who don't use their homes ever, and live overseas. Building more housing here just means that people like me can buy more homes.

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Just so we can be sure.

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I have more than one home in Massachusetts alone, and don't rent any of them out. I also have a home in another state.

This site will let you look up deeds on almost every piece of real estate in Massachusetts. Some are blocked out for high profile people like politicians. It's not uncommon to find that someone owns multiple homes:
https://www.masslandrecords.com/

Even taxing more on a second home is isn't going to stop people from owning more than one home. The IRS lets me deduct taxes that I pay on the homes that I have. There is a limit to this, but it's still higher than the Massachusetts rental deduction. People who have two mortgages are also allowed to deduct mortgage interest and work into pay lower taxes, or even getting a refund.
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sa.pdf

There are other tax benefits for being a landlord covered in publication 527 on the IRS website.

This problem is bigger than building more housing.

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You're buying houses just for fun and then keeping them empty?

Are you doing to spite renters? Because you can? Are you buying triple deckers and keeping them empty to drive up rent prices?

I'm sure there are plenty of people who have a house in or near the city and a place in the Berkshires or on the Cape. I don't think that's the root cause of the housing crisis.

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I own homes in places that I like to go to often.

Cape Cod is a prime example of a market that has a deleterious impact on renters. During the school year families can rent house on Cape Cod, during the summer it's a different story. These families have to come up with more money to pay summer rents, or they have to move out and look for temporary summer housing. This doesn't sound bad from a high level view, it does cause housing insecurity for kids, and can impact their schooling if they have to change schools every year. The (pay)Wall Street Journal covers vacation rentals that have been left empty this year. These are houses that likely had families mentioned above, but chose to end leases in June to earn more money from vacationers.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/summer-rental-market-cools-off-after-pandem...

Cape Cod winter rentals, just two, but there are far more who kick renters out for vacationers once the winter lease is up.
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/174-Lowell-Rd-Q62-Mashpee-MA-02649/20...
https://classifieds.gannettclassifieds.com/marketplace/hyn/category/Rent...

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How much of this - in Massachusetts at least - can be attributed to private equity firms buying up homes and renting out at stupid prices?

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The folks at the Emergency Room at Boston Medical Center could tell you a bit more about the issue.

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If anything, it's a symptom, rather than a cause. Private equity doesn't cause the stupid prices, private equity takes advantage of the already-stupid prices.

They're also more active in outlying parts of the state. Private equity works only because we have built so little housing in the past 30 years that the market is distorted. The only way out is to build enough housing (statewide, we're probably 200,000 units behind) that housing isn't just wealth extraction.

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