The Globe’s May 29 editorial about housing prices in Boston gave well-deserved praise to Mayor Walsh yet missed the larger policy issue (“Walsh’s housing policy pays off in lower rents”).
The city of Boston is not an island and cannot single-handedly meet the housing needs of the entire region. There are 4.8 million residents in Greater Boston, more than 85 percent of whom live outside the city limits. The cost of housing in city neighborhoods is a reflection of that larger market. While some cities and towns surrounding Boston do a great job on housing, many others have fueled the current crisis by making it difficult or impossible to build multifamily housing and by refusing to allow new housing construction at the same density as existing neighborhoods.
We are losing thousands of talented workers to metropolitan areas, such as Seattle, Denver, and Portland, Ore., that build twice as much housing per capita and have a lower cost of living than metro Boston. That’s a regional problem, not just a city problem. The Globe should be advocating for broader-scale solutions, such as legislation proposed by Representative Kevin Honan and Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, that would require every city and town to do its part to zone for new housing.