Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



housing, Boston, Massachusetts, affordable housing, housing policy, National League of Cities, substandard housing, local government


Housing Law | Public Administration | Public Policy | Social Policy | Social Welfare | State and Local Government Law | Urban Studies


Designed as a comparative undertaking by the National League of Cities (NLC) , this study is officially entitled "National Research Agenda Project No. 5: Substandard Housing and the Cost of Providing Housing-Related Services." A similar study was carried out by the urban observatories in Denver and Nashville. According to the study scope of services, the NLC was interested in the cost of "a wide variety of local government activities ... required to support and service urban housing," and how these costs "are affected by housing quality, housing location, age and type of structures. ..." It was also suggested that attention "be given to examining variations in the type and level of services provided on the basis of such factors as housing ownership . . . and according to the demographic characteristics of the occupants. In addition, consideration will be given to identifying, insofar as possible, special costs related to substandard housing and to estimating their magnitude."

More specifically, the following tasks were identified in the scope of study services: 1) Develop indicators of standardness and substandardness; 2) Identify typical housing areas of essentially uniform characteristics; 3) Determine the cost of providing housing-related services, and; 4) Develop current and five-year projections of the cost of providing housing-related services if all housing were standard.


Boston Urban Observatory



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