A new study “The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2019: Supply, Demand and the Challenge of Local Control” authored by Northeastern University Professor and NULab affiliated faculty member Alicia Sasser Modestino was published earlier this summer in collaboration with the Boston Foundation, the Northeastern University Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, the MHP Center for Housing Data, and the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.
“This year’s report goes much further. It looks closely at the Commonwealth’s practice of local control, otherwise known as “home rule,” regarding land use regulation—and it raises concerns about the challenges that system poses. First and foremost among them is an apparent unwillingness on the part of many cities and towns to participate in developing the diversity of housing we need for our region’s growing population. The vast majority of new housing production remains concentrated in a small number of cities and towns. It also points out that people of color are still highly concentrated in a few places, often in poorer neighborhoods, even if residents themselves aren’t poor. Generations of institutionalized racism have entrenched segregation and—even though the law prevents outright discrimination— established patterns and home rule have only maintained the status quo. This report calls for a multipronged approach to these challenges—from legislation and public policy to education and technical support—to counter the inertia that can come with home rule and the legacy of generations of discriminatory practices. Cities and towns outside of Boston have the capacity to play a crucial role in solving our housing problem, but so far they are not delivering.”
(Excerpt from study, study also covered by news@northeastern)
Modestino has had a busy summer, making multiple appearances in different news outlets over the past few months, writing an opinion piece for Fortune Magazine looking at the intersection between youth unemployment and summer jobs programs, as well as being covered by news@northeastern for her work on college enrollment and its relation to the current performance of the economy, and evaluating the economic impact of robots and automation on workers and companies in the seafood processing industry.