Thank you to everyone who attended the JP Inequality Forum! We had about forty attendants to hear about and discuss how inequality affects us here in Jamaica Plain.
Here are some primary indicators we learned:
- A person needs to be in the top 5% of earners in order to purchase a home in the neighborhood.
- Boston ranks first in the nation for how quickly it is gentrifying.
- Two-thirds of low-wage jobs in MA are with large employers (with 100 or more employees) .
- Boston ranks third in the country for income inequality.
Leslie Bos of JPNDC described how long it can take to develop a neighborhood, often taking decades to build up more affordable housing, such as the work that has been done in Jackson Square. She concluded that simply building more units cannot adequately reduce housing prices, and indicated the need for anti-displacement strategies and possibly Just-Cause Eviction legislation.
Mukaji Ambila of Action for Regional Equity engaged the audience to define what makes a job a bad one. The group identified issues such as low wages, no health care, unsafe conditions, no security, anti-union positions and inconsistent schedules.
What did you learn from the forum? What actions or strategies do you think would help reduce housing pressures, or lift wages? Leave your thoughts in the comments.