Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Key to Job Growth

No, it's not tax breaks for the wealthy, it's not $ incentives, and it's not the weather. It's affordable housing along with a variety of housing options.

Housing production - more than home prices or tax levels - is among the most important factors in promoting long-term job growth, a new study concludes. The study, for the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, a quasi-public development agency, analyzed economic conditions in more than 200 US metropolitan areas and found that Greater Boston's failure to build enough housing contributed to its
subpar job growth in recent years. (source)
The Mass. Guv is planning on growing housing options: "Gregory Bialecki, the state undersecretary for business development, said the Patrick administration expects to file legislation early next year that would provide incentives to communities to revamp zoning laws to develop more housing."

The report's title is: "Recipe for Growth." The purpose of the study was to "determine why greater Boston and Massachusetts lagged behind the rest of the nation in job growth." Hmm, isn't Rhode Island having the same problem? "The report found that Massachusetts could have added thousands of more jobs during the first part of this decade if its restrictive zoning practices had not sharply limited housing construction in the 1990s."

The report found that if you want to grow your economy, you need to grow your housing market with all types. Areas that had the most restrictive zoning (e.g.; acre lots) just did not attract jobs. fastest growing cities were the ones that built more housing, regardless of price, and that job growth was much weaker in places with large-lot zoning. "Finally, the report found that state and local tax burdens had little to do with growth - and that most regions that had higher employment growth than Metro Boston had higher tax burdens."

So how much housing is needed? What will the impact be? What should the state's strategy be? Stay tuned for a later report. But the myth of higher taxes being the culprit will still persist despite studies debunking this & none supporting it.

We could do the same, but our guv...has formed committees to attack our problems. And they've produced???

Remember when people who worked here actually lived here too? Local monies stayed here. Now we seem to have high-end engineering jobs, low-end tourism jobs, and a few town workers in the middle. Not much else. Think that nepotism plays a part only for Caroline Kennedy? Think the playing field for local jobs is even? Silly you. You'd need a few hands to count the State/Local workers all related to each other. Entire families. But you knew that, right?

Look to Middltown's Economic Advisory Development Committee to be making some progress in this area.
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