Housing Needed!

Today’s Globe features a front-page article Lack of homes on market has prices rising, sales slipping, highlighting the housing shortage in Boston and environs:

The number of single-family houses for sale in Massachusetts plunged 20 percent in April from a year earlier, the 39th consecutive month that inventories have declined from the previous year. That’s according to data released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. …

In some high-demand places, inventories plunged 30 percent or more from a year earlier. In Boston, the number of single-family homes for sale fell 31 percent, in Brookline 35 percent, and in Somerville 40 percent. In Cambridge, the number of condos on the market dove 56 percent, according to the real estate association.

No surprise here. The Boston-area economy is growing much faster than the housing supply, and the crunch is exacerbated by a multi-generational shift toward living in cities and in particular car-less (or less-car) based lifestyles.

To sustain the region’s economic growth, avoid crippling commute times, and improve the quality of life in the city, we need to build a lot more housing. And the only feasible way to achieve that is with increased density (recall that Boston’s population is still far below what it was sixty years ago).

As one of Boston’s smaller neighborhoods, Roslindale can only play a small part in solving this macro problem. But we can be part of the solution–there are surface parking lots near the village that could be homes for people, not just cars. And much of Rozzie Square and areas immediately adjacent the T is filled with very low-rise buildings (often just one story!). With proper transit-oriented/pedestrian-and-bike-friendly development, the addition of a few hundred residents will enhance the vitality of the neighborhood and the shopping district. Let’s make it happen.

 

Near Fatal Hit-and-Run Near Rozzie

Universal Hub reports on a potentially deadly hit-and-run against a pedestrian on Washington Street not far from Rozzie Square late Thursday night. While it’s important that BPD bring the perpetrator to justice, we should also take this opportunity to fix the pedestrian environment. Washington Street brings a large volume of pass-through traffic through the village, and features large stretches of road without crosswalks; crosswalks with poor visibility; gridlocked traffic at busy times; and dangerously high-speed traffic (including drag racing) at others. There’s a lot more to say on this topic, but for now let’s just start a conversation about a new vision for the area stretching from Turtle Pond all the way up to the Forest Hills, while we also hope the victim makes a full recovery.

(Update 6/9/15: the driver has since been identified based on a tip and summonsed for arraignment, specifically Eddie Cartagena, 25, of Boston.)