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Arlington Ranks High In Housing Diversity, Low In Affordability

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Greater Boston Housing Report: Arlington ranks high in housing diversity, low in affordability. (Shutterstock)

ARLINGTON, MA — Arlington ranks above the eastern Massachusetts average in housing diversity, and below the standard in diverse racial composition and affordability, according to The Boston Foundation’s Greater Boston Housing Report Card released on Wednesday. The report graded 147 cities and towns based on production of housing, racial composition, diversity of housing based on single-family homes, multifamily homes and rental properties as well as affordability.

The report concluded that most cities and towns in Greater Boston are not building enough new housing to keep up with population growth and that many are not doing enough to eliminate racial segregation in the region.

The report determined that cities and towns in the five counties of eastern Massachusetts will need to produce an additional 21,333 housing units per year to keep up with demand in the region through 2025. Permitting levels showed that only 19 of 147 communities were keeping up with their "fair share" of housing production with Arlington producing 24 percent of the necessary permits to meet the standards.

The report determined that 30.4 percent of the region is considered non-white. Arlington ranked below the average at 25 percent. Arlington also ranked near the average at 67 percent in adopting six "best practices" of promoting multifamily housing, accessory dwelling units, mixed-use developments, inclusionary zoning, affordable housing trusts and adopting the Community Preservation Act — a state guideline which encourages communities to preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing and develop outdoor recreational facilities.

While Arlington scored a high mark in Greater Boston in housing diversity with 55 percent multifamily housing and 40 percent rental housing for a diversity index of 44 percent, the town ranked well below the average in affordability at 28 percent based on a weighted composite of home prices, rents, and the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development subsidized housing inventory.

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