The Sixth Annual State Of Our Neighborhood on April 7 was a sunny and happy affair. The elected officials were sage and the non profit advocates satisfied. Everyone agreed with everyone else.
At the March 14 City council hearing on Just Cause Eviction the opposition was heard and their views were blunt: restraints on evictions "destroys property," "coddles problem tenants," "increases crime like illegal drugs," "breaks a contract between landlord and tenant," "the system will fall apart," "they're robbing us of our property."
One opponent was Gilbert Winn who chairs the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and is owner and manager of Winn Properties (one arm of which is Winn Residential that manages thousands of income-based rental apartments for Community Development Corporations like Codman Square NDC and Urban Edge.)
Councilor Andrea Campbell asked him, "What are the solutions?"
Winn broke out in a big grin and said "Money! There's not enough money for affordable housing. We need a coalition of public and private money. There is no other solution other than money."
Next year SOON needs to include the loyal opposition to confront the problem of housing that has vexed the City of Boston since the 1870s.
Other opinion columns by Richard Heath:
Will More Housing Really Lower Rents? Prove It, Mr. Mayor