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We need housing policy that supports diverse workforce

Highland Terrace, an affordable housing development in Chelsea, as seen in November 2020.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Re “Eviction inequities worse in pandemic, report says” (Business, March 23): As someone who works closely with business leaders in Massachusetts, I’ve seen firsthand how our state’s expensive housing market has been harming our communities, pushing recent graduates and families alike out of state in search for more affordable living opportunities, and hampering our economy for years.

Now a series of recent reports coming out after two years of the pandemic — from the Home for All Massachusetts analysis on eviction rates in Boston’s neighborhoods, to the Future of Work Commission’s warning on workforce shortages, to the data showing population losses in Boston and other major cities — underscores the significant and disproportionate burden our state’s rising costs of living have been placing on communities of color, and the gaps our workforce will face as a result.


For our economy and businesses to thrive, we need to support a diverse workforce that can afford to live and access emerging job opportunities, including those that will come from our growing clean-energy sector. It is essential that we address our affordable-housing crisis to invest in the housing policies and workforce training strategies that will create a more equitable and prosperous Commonwealth.

Jennifer Benson


The writer is president of the Alliance for Business Leadership and a former Massachusetts state representative.