Abundance Through Advocacy: Addressing Boston’s Housing Crisis

For a recent graduate Greater Boston – which routinely ranks among the most expensive areas of the United States for housing – can seem a daunting place to lay down roots and launch a career. In significant part this is because the region does not build enough housing to meet demand, pushing costs upward. Communities around Boston make it incredibly difficult to build apartments and other less-expensive housing options. Much of the land in these communities is restricted to single-family homes, often on very large lots. These practices contribute to high housing costs, residential segregation, significant inequities in access to quality education, and residential construction that is often far from public transportation, exacerbating negative environmental effects. Why is this the case? How can it be changed? And what role can graduate students and young professionals play in advocating for such change both locally and at the state level?

Join Abundant Housing Massachusetts and Suffolk University Law School for a panel featuring national experts on housing, zoning, and local government.

Panelists are:
Professor Vicki Been of New York University School of Law previously served as Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development for the City of New York and will speak on possibilities for reform at the city and state level.

Professor Anika Singh Lemar leads the Community and Economic Development clinic at Yale Law School and will discuss her work with affordable housing developers to bring needed housing to communities throughout Connecticut.

Maxwell Palmer, a Professor of Political Science at Boston University, will discuss his groundbreaking research examining who participates in local land use decision making and how homeowners entrench their own interests by opposing new housing.

Jenny Schuetz is a Senior Fellow at Brookings Metro. An expert in urban economics and housing policy, she will discuss how statewide zoning reform could improve housing affordability and more.