While reading this story in today's Crimson about Harvard's plans for new housing in Barry's Corner (Barry's Corner Plans Worry Allston Residents) I thought back to the home-ownership post I wrote in 2008 regarding the ownership/rental mix for the new Charlesview housing.
During the public review of Charlesview the project was described as having apartments south of Western Ave and condo along Telford St on the north side of Western Ave. For many in the community who believe that more homeownership would be a good thing here, we looked forward to the construction of these condos.
But while construction of the apartments is moving ahead briskly, there is no activity relating to the construction of the condos which are now describes as being "Phase 2" of the project and, according to this Globe story, that "phase’s timing is market dependent" and who knows when or if that means it will be built.
So, getting back to Barry's Corner, the documents that I linked to in that 2008 post have been moved or deleted, and data from the 2010 Census is now available.
But the story is still the same regarding two topics raised in the Crimson article - Allston has few families and few homeowners.
Allston: 13% owner-occupied housing units. Households with individuals under 18 years = 9%
Jamaica Plain: 44% owner occupied. Households with individuals under 18 years = 23%
South Boston: 40% owner occupied. Households with individuals under 18 years = 17%
Roxbury: 20% owner occupied. Households with individuals under 18 years = 35%
South End: 39% owner occupied. Households with individuals under 18 years = 15%
Harvard's Housing Studies website explains 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.
Building small apartments in Barry's Corner will maximize Harvard's profit and will also move Allston in the wrong direction - further exacerbating our lack of families and homeowners.
Hopefully it will be possible to balance Harvard's goals for a money-making development of Barry's Corner with the type of housing that will also advance the housing and social goals of Allston.