In full transparency, the following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media (stock photo).
FRAMINGHAM — Concerned about the health impacts associated with the lack of affordable housing, the MetroWest Health Foundation today, December 14, released a report detailing the affordable housing crisis in the MetroWest area of Massachusetts.
The report entitled, Shut Out: Understanding the affordable housing crisis in MetroWest, details the high costs of and instability in the region’s housing market over the past decade, and how the pandemic has intensified these issues.
The report highlights differences in the rates of homeownership by race, specific populations affected by a lack of affordable housing, and the rapid increase in home values and rental rates over the past two years. Data from 2020 show that in most MetroWest communities, a family of four with median income wanting to spend less than 30% of their income on housing could choose from fewer than 1 in 10 homes and fewer than 1 in 4 two-bedroom rental units.
And, the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the housing market in MetroWest remain to be seen as the rates of eviction filings in Framingham and Marlborough since most pandemic-related housing assistance programs have ended are among the highest in the eastern part of the state. These two communities alone had nearly 300 eviction filings in the first six months of this year.
“When safe, stable housing is not affordable, people are forced to make difficult choices like compromising their food or medical budgets,” explained Martin Cohen, President/CEO. “This can result in poor health outcomes for families and forces many to move out of the region thereby creating a loss of diversity. Our hope is that the data and recommendations in this report informs the work of local coalitions, advocates, and policy makers to address the affordable housing needs of the region.”
The report can be found on the foundation’s website (www.mwhealth.org).
Municipal level data for the 25 communities included in the foundation’s report can be accessed by contacting the report’s author, Kate Baker (email@example.com)
The MetroWest Health Foundation provides over $5 million in annual financial support to address the health needs across 25 communities in the MetroWest area of Massachusetts. The foundation’s work is focused on advancing health equity, facilitating information sharing and learning, and fostering innovation and practical solutions that lead to better health outcomes.