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2011 Greater Boston Housing Report Card Links Economic Crisis to Housing Market and Foreclosures

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The overriding message of the 2011 Greater Boston Housing Report Card, prepared by Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, is that “the economic crisis facing this country is inextricably linked to the housing market -- and that foreclosures still play a major role in the housing slump.”  The 9th report card was discussed on October 25th by panelists Elyse Cherry, CEO of Boston Community Capital, Timothy Warren, CEO of The Warren Group, Robert Clifford, Policy Analyst for the New England Public Policy Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and Nicolas Retsinas, Director Emeritus of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Foreclosure was a major theme of this discussion.  “Harvard’s Nicolas Retsinas identified ‘the foreclosure fiasco’ as ‘the darkest cloud’ over what he called ‘the dysfunctional housing market.’”  The Boston Foundation, for whom the report card is written, encourages socially responsible engagement by donors and investors in programs like BCC’s SUN Initiative which is designed to stem the foreclosures and keep people in their homes.  Recently, a Boston Foundation donor made creative use of a Donor Advised Fund to invest in SUN.