Congratulations to Boston City Councilor Mike Ross, who will become the next City Council President in January (and first Jewish Council President, I believe).
As a constituent of Mike’s, I know the kind of hours he (and his staff) puts in and the passion he has for the people and issues of the district – this is a well-deserved honor. Of all district councilors who run unopposed, it’s not surprising that Mike consistently has the lowest percentage of blank ballots submitted.
His recent “4-unrelated” legislation exemplifies his desire to keep Boston a city of affordable neighborhoods.
Kudos to the city council, also, who could have had this competition get in the way of their ability to tackle some real problems this city is (and will be) facing.
Globe Article: http://www.boston.com/news/loc…
Herald Article: http://news.bostonherald.com/n…
First of all, there are minimum occupancy requirements; minimum-square-footage-per-person regulations. These rules mandate, for example, that two people can not live in a studio apartment, no matter how much they want it. Simple ISD enforcement would solve a lot of these problems, but I guess they are more concerned with harassing T-shirt vendors outside Fenway Park.
p>Secondly, it will actually drive up costs. For example, one of my good friends owns a five-bedroom house in Allston; there are a lot of those. Well, officially, his father’s name is on the deed, but for all intents and purposes, he owns it, he lives there, and his brother will move in eventually. For the moment, however, he is not married and does not have a family. Thus, he shares the house with four other people, who pay rent. With this legislation in place, at least one of them will probably have to find another place, pay more for that apartment than he is currently paying, while removing apartments from the market without reducing demand. Therefore, average rents and housing costs go up.
p>Disclosure: I work for a real estate agency near Boston University and a number of my clients are student rentals. Still, the premise is the same, and there were/are a number of groups opposed to this legislation: property owners including homeowners, property managers, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, just to name a few. It would actually help my business, because I get paid by the apartment, but we’re looking at ways to control housing costs in the city.