Up with the Wages, Down with the Rents!

There is a gentrification and affordability crisis in cities across America. Rents have been consistently on the rise since 2000, while wages have remained stagnant. In over 90 US Cities median rent is unaffordable and people are struggling to pay for other expenses like food, healthcare, and childcare.

Housing prices have risen as private investors continue to buy up rental properties in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. On June 9th, Homes for All will launch a national report called- Can’t Afford, Can’t Wait: The Rise of the Renter Nation. In this report, grassroots organizations detail solutions to the ongoing housing crisis in America. Seven actions will be held in 7 cities across the country reflecting the local impact of the housing crisis, gentrification and affordability connected to the findings in the national report. These will coincide with nationwide actions to highlight the plight of low wage workers, the same population struggling to afford their rent.

Boston is now the most rapidly gentrifying city in America, according to a recent study by the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank. As Mayor Walsh prepares his municipal housing plan and the state considers an increase in the minimum wage, Boston tenants and community activists rally at the site of a formerly foreclosed home to say, Up with the Wages, Down with the Rents! Low wage workers from different Boston neighborhoods will speak to the local affordable housing crisis and highlight potential solutions included in the national report.

READ REPORT: To read a digital copy online or purchase a printed copy of the national report go to: homesforall.org

WHO: Right to the City Boston and Boston Tenant Coalition, Chinese Progressive Association, City Life/Vida Urbana, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, New England United for Justice, Boston Workers’ Alliance

 

WHAT: Rally and Press Conference to Release National Report on the State of Housing Affordability

WHEN: Tuesday, June 10, 12:00 noon

WHERE: 193 Norwell Street in Four Corners, Dorchester

WHY:

- Between 2006 and 2012, there have been over 4,500 families that have been foreclosed just in the City of Boston. The vast majority of these families have been displaced and pushed into the rental market.

- Many cannot afford market-rate apartments, leading to homelessness. As of March 2014, there are about 4,400 families with children and pregnant women in Massachusetts Emergency Assistance Shelter Program, half of which are sheltered in motels.

- More than 31,000 Boston households that make $50,000 or less pay over half of their income in rent.

- According to January MLS data, the average residential real estate rental price for a one-bedroom unit in Boston is presently $2,400, which requires an income of at least $96,000 to afford. Median household income for Boston renters is $37,000.

- In Boston, 61% of low-price census tracts saw gentrification, making it among the most quickly gentrifying city in the nation.

- Annual rent appreciation is increasing in East Boston by 12%, in Roxbury by 7.4%, and the Chinatown zip code now has the highest percentage of households with incomes over $100,000 in the city.

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