Massachusetts, specifically eastern Massachusetts, has long been a desirable place for recent college graduates. Due to shifting demographics and lifestyles, many young people are single or have much smaller families than was typical for most of the 20th century. However, in many towns and cities in Massachusetts, the vast majority of the housing stock consists of units with three bedrooms or more. While Boston has recently proposed innovative solutions regarding the flexibility and diversity of housing types, there is still much to be done.
Some communities are hesitant to build units that alter their existing development patterns and destroy open space. Others point to commuting patterns and traffic congestion as evidence that housing production should only occur near major job centers, not in suburban towns. The flip side is that commercial developers in large business districts may not consider how their future tenants will travel to work and the corresponding environmental and lifestyle impacts.
The result of all this is that Massachusetts youth are facing a crisis in which housing is increasingly unsuitable, unaffordable, and hard to find for a subpopulation we desperately want to retain, but are already in a transient and uncertain stage of life.