We shall not be moved : advocacy and policy in a rapidly changing Boston
Author(s)Dunfey, Carey Lucia
Advocacy and policy in a rapidly changing Boston
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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The ability to access affordable, stable, and good quality housing has become an increasing concern for policymakers, community advocates, and activists in growing urban metros across the United States. In Boston, population growth and rising housing costs have spurred new development of luxury housing and renovation of existing residential buildings, putting pressure on existing neighborhood tenants and homeowners. As a response to these phenomena, perceived as contributing to a displacement and eviction crisis in Boston, organizations within the Right to the City Alliance proposed legislation that they felt would "slow down" the processes leading to eviction of tenants in larger buildings and former homeowners in their foreclosed properties. The Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act, formerly the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, if implemented, would ensure residents are notified of their rights in eviction proceedings and allow them to be evicted only for certain "just causes." Since 2014, advocates have been working to get this legislation drafted and passed in the Boston City Council. This research seeks to understand why and how advocates proposed this act and what barriers it faces in implementation. I argue that despite gaining support from the Mayor's Office and being an intentionally mild bill, opposition from large and small property owners and the real estate industry has shaped the conversation around the act, leading to both confusion and resistance to its passing. In this case study, I discuss the difficulties of drafting and passing progressive housing policy in increasingly unaffordable urban areas and the need for a broader conversation about the right to housing for residents.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 82-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.