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The rent is too damn high: Why Boston needs to be affordable

The Irish comic Dylan Moran – a personal favorite of mine – has a great bit comparing city life to the countryside. He ends the part by saying “Mobile phone tumors, far more likely in the city. Well, you know what? So is everything else, including sex, coffee, and conversation.”

Cities are places to be, and Boston is one of the best cities in the country to be. It’s got world-class universities, fantastic job opportunities, a vibrant arts community, and distinct neighborhoods, the sort that have disappeared in far too many American cities. Added together, these traits give the Hub the sort of energy that many mayors would kill to have in their towns. But these qualities also lead to a whole host of problems.

The influx of college students and young professionals, along with empty-nesters who have decided to move back to the city after raising their kids in the suburbs, has sent rents and property prices skyrocketing since the end of Boston’s decay in the early ’90s. As young folks living and working in Boston, we should know what’s happening and what needs to be done to fix it.