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Housing crunch is hampering Boston-area businesses

I’d bet that nearly every human resources director in town forwarded George Donnelly’s piece about the Greater Boston housing market to their CEO (“A broken real estate market,” Opinion, April 11). They know that the housing crunch is bad for business. We risk losing talent to more affordable cities.

According to a 2010 Urban Land Institute report, “There is a shortage of workforce housing near key urban and suburban employment cores.” Ask any local employer: Boston’s housing prices are a major obstacle to attracting or retaining top talent.

Potential employees — especially those just getting started in their careers — are often forced to depart for cities where the cost of that first home doesn’t come with a dizzying price tag. Many of the ambitious and creative young people Boston loses to more affordable locales are from diverse backgrounds. They’re the talent Boston employers need and want, but housing sticker shock is causing them to pack their bags.


Tackling the high cost of workforce housing is a business imperative. If the people who want to work here can’t afford to live here, how will our economy continue to thrive?

Bianca Sigh Ward
Vice president for partnerships
The Alliance for Business Leadership