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South End housing effort is a model of how Mass. moon shot could fly

People in the crowd waved flags as music played as Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción held its annual Festival Betances in Boston on July 21, 2013.Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff

As Ira A. Jackson writes in “Massachusetts needs a housing moon shot” (Opinion, May 31), housing is an existential crisis and we all have a stake in solving it. I couldn’t agree more that we need a moon shot — a mix of innovative and proven strategies from communities and from the public and private sectors — to increase housing production at various levels of affordability and square footage to accommodate every family in our Commonwealth.

In Boston’s South End, we are modeling what this could look like, albeit on a smaller scale. Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción holds a portfolio of 667 affordable units that form the backbone of a vibrant community supported by bilingual programs for all ages. We created an initiative to help our residents achieve the dream of becoming homeowners. Our homeownership moon shot requires an all-hands-on-deck approach that will engage public and private funding, ranging from philanthropy to individual donors.


The housing crisis threatens our economy and our well-being, as seen in the pandemic’s impact on the health of communities. We need government, business, developers, philanthropists, higher education, health care, and residents throughout our Commonwealth committed to the housing moon shot. Together, we can do it.

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado

Chief executive officer

Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción