Thank you for the Sept. 5 editorial “Legislature must thwart efforts to chip away at housing law.” The editorial correctly noted that in 2010 voters spoke loud and clear that we must protect affordable housing. It also noted that housing development is a crucial economic issue in Massachusetts. These changes to our housing law are being sought while we are facing the biggest family homelessness crisis in our state’s history. More than 7,000 of our state’s poorest children are in shelters and motels, with countless others doubled up and in precarious living situations.
Homeless parents include health care assistants, customer service and retail workers, and those in the service industry who are not paid sufficient wages to cover the cost of rent. Elder homelessness is on the rise; students, young professionals, and single parents are being squeezed out of the rental market, as are those with disabilities.
Now is not the time to chip away at the housing law or to stymie development. It is well past the time to be aggressively addressing the lack of affordable housing in the Commonwealth.