According to Commonwealth Magazine’s 2007 spring edition, the Patrick administration is a receptive audience for Pioneer’s policy paper, Housing Programs in Weak Market Neighborhoods: Developing the Right Tools for Urban Revitalization, written by Peter Gagliardi. The report details how well-meaning state policies may actually hurt the revitalization of poorer communities. The study finds that most state programs are intended to ensure affordability in the state’s heated housing markets. In neighborhoods with weak housing markets, vacant properties, abandoned buildings, and aging infrastructure, these programs are counterproductive: restricting homeowners’ equity, discouraging the sale of redeveloped properties and concentrating poverty.
The good press is encouraging. Much work remains to get the right set of policy tools in place for urban revitalization. Pioneer continues the effort.