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Good government mission for the affordable housing consumer.

BEVERLY Studio floorplan

The City of Boston can rightfully brag that it does better than most cities in the US when addressing the need for affordable housing inventory,

Take this message contained in the Boston Mayor’s State of the City 2019 speech where he said …

” We are committed to leaving no one behind. In Boston we’ve created more affordable homes than any time on record. We’ll create 1,000 new homeowners in the next five years by building more affordable homes and providing more financial help. We’ve housed over 1,600 chronically homeless people. A year ago we launched the Boston’s Way Home Fund and set a goal of raising $10 million over 4 years for supportive housing. After just 1 year, we have already raised $5 million.”

Housing policy wonks say the claim rings true, that Boston has put a larger “percentage of affordable rentals” on the market than most other cities of its size in the U.S, in recent years.

But the devil is in the details.

Politics is about the control of limited resources.  Land and money are limited resources. It takes both to create a housing unit, be it an expensive luxury apartment building or an affordable building of similar size.

And because land and money are limited, there may or will NEVER be enough affordable housing to meet everyone’s need in urban areas. Let’s face it. A substantial number of people have limited incomes. Its just the way it is.

What a housing lottery really is

A democracy is a hard thing to administer, therefore its political leadership invented THE HOUSING LOTTERY as an attempt to be fair.  This works for a lot of people. But when there are 6,000 applicants for a workforce priced building unit that has  200 openings, then the policy has not worked for 5,800 people who applied for the units.

This was the case at THE BEVERLY, a downtown Boston building near the North End that demonstrates an interesting way to fairly treat the pre-qualified affordable housing consumer. See chart below for the affordable rental rates in that new modern complex.

The Beverly’s affordable-housing units were offered in a housing lottery to households with annual incomes of $17,578 to $60,000, according to the developer. Rents were to start at $492 a month depending on income. It is a LUXURY apartment building complex that has 239 units. It offered 66 Affordable Price units in chart below.

Numbers like these are repeated at most Housing Lottery opportunities. But there is good news in the mix. When a building full of condos for sale to the income-restricted went to market with 11 available units, only 18 lottery applications were received by management.

Eleven people won a unit of 18 that applied. Probably, some of those 18 applications were rejected for technical reasons as they usually are.

 We spoke to one of the winners – a coffee shop manager in the Seaport. He said when it put in his application he didn’t expect to win,  but he thought “what do I have to lose” he said. The move enabled him to save hundreds of dollars a month less the going market rate. 

The $5 billion city plan

If Boston had won the Amazon Headquarters II  deal opportunity that plan called for the new construction of housing to meet the needs of  50,000 employees.  AMAZON valued the deal at $5 Billion 

Do you want to know who was going to build that new housing?  Guess no more, we have the document.
Click here to read it.

This writer would like to think that a BEVERLY-like solution with the scale of the Amazon buildout can be constructed.  The Affordable Housing industry uses a rough figure of $400,000 each to build a unit to meet standard requirements in urban areas. That cost is all inclusive of land, construction materials, finance cost, labor and all that. 

If it cost $400,000 a unit and there are 50,000 people looking to access affordable housing at the BEVERLY  income ranges stated above, then there is cash to work with. It would cost $20 Billion to build 50,000 affordable price units. 

The Beverly rent rates
at the 2018 lottery closing

Would an extra 50,000 affordable housing units take the pressure off? You bet it will! If you divided the $20B construction cost of 50,000 new units by the 50,000 people now in the market looking for a unit, you’ll arrive at a figure of $40,000 per person.

This simple math can be looked at any way you want, but from the calculations,  there appears to be enough regular cash flow coming from 50,000 renters to pay off the $20B construction cost, while holding tenant monthly housing cost to an amount no more than 40% income all inclusive. The Beverly affordable rent range started at $492/mo and ended somewhere north of $2,000 per unit scaled to income.

Eminent domain property taking is necessary to put up a new apartment complex of this magnitude. Boston mayors have unusual powers. They are tremendous.  

What does financing $20B over 15 years look like? Chances are with all the rent coming in against it, there would be a profit to be taken that can pay for building a few more 50,000 affordable unit packages where they need to go.  Look around Boston, don’t disturb the greenspace and figure how to do it. 

Letter from the Publisher
@movef Tweets

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Get your papers in soon for these housing lotteries.

Housing lottery units

Housing lotteries in Boston and Massachusetts will continue to offer apartments, condos and homes at reduced market rate prices to eligible applicants.  More are available in Brighton, Dorchester, South Boston, Roxbury and many other neighborhoods.

FYI: The most important links are the INFO links.

Alexan Wrentham – 
5 Ledgeview Way, Wrentham, MA 02093
Applications Available: 
Deadline:  February 26, 2019 at 2:00 PM
Lottery InfoLottery Info PacketLottery Application

Mayflower Manor
84 South Main Street, Middleborough, MA 02346
Applications Available:
Deadline: January 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM
Lottery InfoLottery Info PacketLottery Application


100 Pier 4
100 Pier Four Boulevard
South Boston, MA 02210
(1) 1 Bedroom – $1,459
(2) 2 Bedroom – $1,667
Income Restricted at 70% AMI
First Come, First Served
Available Mid-February 2019
South Boston Rental Info

25 Morrissey Boulevard, Dorchester, MA 02125
Studio – $1,094
Income Restricted at 70% AMI
Note: Waitlist is Open from 1/2/19 to 1/21/19
Rental Waitlist – Open; Dorchester Waitlist Info

Flats at 22
22 Gerrish Avenue, Chelsea, MA 02150
3 Bedroom – $1,450
Income Restricted at 60% AMI
First Come, First Served
Available March 2019
Chelsea Rental Info

2 BR Condo in Dorchester
21 Ferndale Street #2B, Dorchester, MA 02124
2 BR Condo Resale – $199,000
First Come, First Served
 Dorchester Resale Info

3 BR Condo in Dorchester
459 Columbia Road #2, Dorchester, MA 02125
3 BR Condo Resale – $243,396
First Come, First Served
Dorchester Resale Info

2 BR Condo in Jamaica Plain
285 Heath Street #285
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
2 BR Condo Resale – $430,000
First Come, First Served
 Jamaica Plain Resale Info

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Twenty-three income restricted apartments open in Charleston

Hey! The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Income Restricted Rental Opportunity announces that 480 Rutherford Avenue, Charlestown, MA 02129 is offering 23 Income Restricted Apartments. 

It’s a Housing Lottery. Apply Online.

Households may request an application to be sent by email or mail from

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 – Friday, Dec 14, 2018

Apply Online

call: 781-992-5310

email your mailing


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Condos on sale for the income restricted buyer

Brighton – at 214 Market Street, Zip 02135 the building is called MarketStreet. Four units are available there to income-restricted buyers. But what does INCOME-RESTRICTED mean? The 1BR sells for $182,000, the 2BR is $217K, another 2BR is $281,000 and a 3BR is $320,000 at this property.

Click here to enter the Lottery – its the only way to buy these properties. Read the details and you’ll learn what it takes to qualify for INCOME-RESTRICTED condo sales here.

SayBrook – 29 condominiums are going on sale. Four will be  income restricted units with a combination of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom units in the 80% AMI & 100% AMI income categories. The price and income restrictions are set by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).   

You must use the City of Boston has created a new online application.

To have a hard copy of the application sent to your mailing address, please call: 617-992-5309 or send a request through email with your mailing address:

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These software apps help tenants manage Landlord problems.

Renters in New York are no different than Boston renters except they get less for their money.  This could be why volunteer software coders in New York  meet on a regular basis to make software apps for  tenants who have landlord problems.

One records renter problems with heat to help report bad landlords.

Another one tracks buildings going through displacement.

The app Who owns What helps tenants find exactly who owns buildings and rentable properties no matter how many LLC corporations the owners hide behind It does data science to compare common data between various public records.

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December 1 rolls in dozens of new affordable rental apartments to apply for.

Some can cover the rents for these affordable rental apartments and some cannot. But here’s the good news.  You’ll see rent rates and applications you need to apply with. There are brand new Studio and 1BR apartments that rent for $470 and $547 if you are homeless when you apply.

 The address is 206 West Broadway in South Boston – CLICK TO GET THE APPLICATION.

These units are on the radar of social service agencies and social workers. You must have someone certify you as homeless to get those rates.

Affordable units in the building rent for $1,094 to the non-homeless.  Double that figure to $2,200 or more if your income supports a market rate spend in that building.

MetroList entries

80 Rutherford – NEW THIS WEEK
480 Rutherford Avenue, Charlestown, MA 02129

  • Applications Available: December 5, 2018 – December 14, 2018
  • Application Deadline: December 21, 2018
  • Lottery Info

Liberty Tree Lofts – NEW THIS WEEK
630 Washington Street, Chinatown, MA 02111

  • Applications Available: December 5, 2018 – December 14, 2018
  • Application Deadline: December 21, 2018
  • Lottery Info

Warren House – NEW THIS WEEK
1600 Washington Street, West Newton, MA 02465

  • Applications Available: November 26, 2018 – December 10, 2018 at 12:00
  • Application Deadline: December 10, 2018 at 4:00 PM
  • Lottery InfoLottery Application

Baker Street, Foxborough, MA 01702

  • Applications Available: December 3, 2018 – January 4, 2019
  • Application Deadline: January 4, 2019 at 5:00 PM
  • Rental Waitlist Reopening; Rental Waitlist Lottery Info

114 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923

Riverview Meadows – NEW THIS WEEK
One Meadow Drive, Raynham, MA 02767

1943 DOT Ave
1943 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124

  • Applications Available: November 26, 2018 – December 10, 2018
  • Application Deadline: December 10, 2018
  • Lottery Info


WAITLIST – Click The Rental Info links for best results

Granite Lena Park Apartments – NEW THIS WEEK
754 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02121

  • (2) 2 Bedroom – Rent Based on 30% Gross Income
  • Note: Income Restricted at 30% AMI
  • First Come, First Served; Available December 2018; Dorchester Rental Info

Douglass Park – NEW THIS WEEK
801 Tremont Street, South End, MA 02118

  • 1 Bedroom – $1,400
  • Income Restricted at 80% AMI
  • First Come, First Served; Available December 2018; South End Rental Info

Harborview at the Navy Yard – NEW THIS WEEK
250 First Avenue, Charlestown, MA 02129

  • 2 Bedroom – $2,150
  • Income Restricted at 120% AMI 
  • First Come, First Served; Available Mid-December 2018; Charlestown Rental Info

Savin Hill Apartments
130 Auckland Street, Dorchester, MA 02125

  • 1 Bedroom – Rent Based on 30% Gross Income
  • 3 Bedroom – Rent Based on 30% Gross Income
  • Income Restricted at 50% AMI 
  • Note: Savin Hill Apartments is an elderly / disabled community. In order to qualify, an individual must be at least 62 years of age or older or a non-elderly person between the ages of 18 and 61 who is disabled. Both units are handicap accessible.
  • First Come, First Served; Available December 2018; Dorchester Rental Info
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THREADMARK on track to open after fire.

Threadmark to re-open soon after fire.  Here’s a look at the rental rates units at Threadmark will be going for when it re-opens after the fire.

Studio $515, $1030 and $1056.00 per month depending on your income.

1BR lottery rent rate is $552, $1104 or $1261.00 depending on income.

2BR lottery rent is $662, $1324 and $1,567 depending on income.

* Lottery rent rates only are being shown.
No other sizes are listed for lottery.

Thirty-five rent reduced apartments were offered by lottery.


Household size of 1 person with  income between $20,610 and $41,220 qualify for lottery.

Two person households with conbined Income between $23,550 and $47,100 qualify for lottery.

Three person households with combined income between $26,490 and $52,980 qualify to for lottery.

The sales sheet offers units to Household (HH) sizes of four  to six persons for  income steps from $29,430 to $68,280 at upper limits  by HH size.



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Create Space in Your Home by Getting Organized

Organize your space

by Julian Lane

Its the first day of autumn in New England. Start Now!

Does your home seem too small? That could be the case even if you live in a mansion, as that’s what happens when you’re not organized. Stuff just seems to spill out of the cupboards and closets and onto the floors and tables, making you wonder what happened to all those spare square feet you had when you moved in. You know exactly what the solution to this problem is, and yet getting everything in order seems so monumental that you don’t know where to begin. Here are a few suggestions that will make the whole thing quick and easy.

Purge Old Junk
Staying organized is impossible if you have too much stuff, so you need to get rid of some of it — for the sake of your own sanity. According to a writer with House Beautiful, cluttered environments overwhelm you and lead to stress, so there’s more at stake than just aesthetics. It’s not an easy task, though, so take it step by step and room by room, committing enough time to the process by saying “no” to distractions. The upside: You may be able to make some money by selling your undesirables at a yard sale.

Think Vertically
If you think there’s no more room, look up before you give up. Good Housekeeping has a few suggestions for using all that space from floor to ceiling, such as installing towel bars with hanging hooks on the wall in your kitchen, preferably near your stove or counter so you can reach for spoons, spatulas, and lids as you need them. Elsewhere, imagine a few anchors attached to the backs of doors with colorful tote bags where your kids can put their toys.

Expand Your Closets
Sure, you’re already using them, but probably not to the maximum. Your decluttering efforts have already freed up space previously taken up by clothes you haven’t worn in years, but there’s still work to be done. First, search for any extra cubbies and cases that you’re not using and use them to store shoes, books, and other items that don’t belong on your bedroom floor. Lastly, add another rod and more hangers to hang up whatever else you can.

Put Things in Storage
That sled does not belong in the closet in the middle of summer, and ditto for the surfboard when the snow is falling. If you have a basement or attic, use them. They are the perfect places for a number of bulky items, including holiday decorations and those pots and pans you only use when making a massive Thanksgiving dinner. Anything smaller can be put into labeled boxes so you can find them when you need them, but be sure not to include old photos or anything else that could be destroyed by excessive heat or humidity.

Divide Your Drawers
There’s more room in there than it seems, and some dividers will help you make the best use of it without spending any money as there’s a DIY solution. All you need is some cardboard, a box-cutter and a tape measure so everything fits into place. You need not be an expert handyman as the whole process simply involves cutting notches in the cardboard and fitting everything together to create divided cubby holes for better storage.

Shop Wisely
Once you’ve organized everything, don’t let it fall into chaos once more by spending money on stuff you don’t need that just take up space. In fact, Reader’s Digest has a
list of items that you should never buy for exactly this reason. Novelties and trendy clothes top the list, which should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, but there’s also fad cookware and dollar store items to say “no” to.

The takeaway is to use your brain when shopping or deal with the consequences. A place for everything, and everything in its place. That’s what you’ll get when you’re done with these efforts — and a bigger living space, or at least one that looks like it.

Image via Pexels

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Cigarette smokers want pot smoking banned in apartments and condos.

Even a licensed medical marijuana patient won’t get a break when apartment management and condo associations implement new rules against cannabis users.

The smell of pot smoke swirling around the building has pissed people off who don’t like it.

While most new luxury apartments ban all smokers, cigarette users have had freedom to smoke.

Now, condo associations are asking them to join a policy that allows tobacco and bans pot smoking from the premises.

Watch the sales of pot sniffing dog services, electronic smoke detectors installations and other evidence gathering techniques increase in volume as Massachusetts moves closer and closer to allowing retail stores to flourish.

While more than half of the 351 Massachusetts cities and town councils have voted to limit legalized cannabis retail shops from opening, City of Boston voted 8-1 in favor of legal retail street sales.

On the one hand, people want to be comfortable in their own home and smokers can make people uncomfortable. On the other hand people believe it is a violation of their constitutional rights to ban smoking of one kind while allowing another kind.

Growing marijuana plants at home are also a bone of contention at some residences.