Homeownership comparison and relevance to Charlesview

http://www.redfin.com/ is an online real estate broker and a recent entry on their blog looked at data from different areas where Redfin users are. They used city and county data for some of the demographic information, so it is not as exact as it could be, but even still it paints a very clear picture that something in Allston and Brighton is very different than in other neighborhoods.

Here are some ranges of homeownership rates in nearby communities:
60-70%: Milton, Brookline, Newton, Concord, Framingham, Arlington, Natick
40-50%: Malden, Waltham, Watertown, Medford

This report by the BRA shows the data from all Boston neighborhoods based on the 2000 Census
60-70%: West Roxbury, Hyde Park
40-50%: Charlestown, South Dorchester, Roslindale
30-40%: JP, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Mattapan, South Boston
20-30%: Roxbury, South End, East Boston, North Dorchester

Allston/Brighton, at 21% homeownership, has the city's 2nd lowest rate of homeownership.

Harvard researchers have found that

Strong and consistent evidence indicates that homeowners are more likely to:
a) be satisfied with their homes and neighborhoods;
b) participate in voluntary and political activities; and
c) stay in their homes longer, contributing to neighborhood stability.

So when considering the proposal for a new Charlesview housing development and any new housing in Allston/Brighton, we need to seize every opportunity to increase opportunities for homeownership. Sure, there are people who can and should rent instead of own, and Allston/Brighton is already doing plenty to provide rental housing to the 50,000 renters who live here.

Who benefits from adding even more rental units in A/B? It doesn't benefit the Allston/Brighton community for Charlesview to propose the creation of 69 new rental units in addition to maintaining the 213 rental units it already has. In addition to creating no new rental units, the existing tenants at Charlesview could be given the option to own homes in the new development (at prices that would make such a purchase possible) and enjoy the financial and social benefits of homeownership.

Here's a link to the data on the Redfin site - Redfin Corporate Blog

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:30 AM

    The current management couldn't maintain the 213 units, what makes them think they can maintain an additional 69 affordable units and 118 at-rate condos? Oh, won't the at-rate condos be across the street in a separate 6 to 10 story building on Soldier's Field Road with views of the River? This whole thing is ridiculous.

    Obviously, they need a mix of affordable and at-rate units to finance the development, but the scale is just out of whack with the area and location. They should limit the number of affordable units to a strict replacement (213), add a mix of affordable ownership based units (maybe 20-25 units) that you propose and then balance the rest with market rate units. Currently, they're proposing that 29.5% of the building be at-rate units. Why not scale it down to about 300-310 units and keep it from over-loading the area with parking and 10 story buildings?

    As proposed, I'm not sure they can meet the set back requirements or the parking ratios.