Kenzie Bok says Boston housing shortage no accident (Boston Housing Authority)

Date Published: 
November 7th, 2023

From CommonWealth Beacon:

The state's public housing infrastructure is, to put it lightly, strained. And it didn’t get that way by accident.

“The way I talk about it is that it’s not that you have a bowl that has some holes in it – it’s that our housing system in America is built to be a sieve,” Kenzie Bok, the new head of the Boston Housing Authority, said on The Codcast. “It is built with holes because if it didn’t have holes, if we actually provided the basic decent affordable housing for everybody, then you wouldn’t be able to keep such elevated rents in the market. And you just have to acknowledge that contradiction, because if you don’t, you won’t understand why we are where we are.”

Bok, a former city councilor, intellectual historian, and affordable housing and housing justice advocate, took the helm of New England’s largest public housing authority this spring. At 34, she is one of the youngest to hold the post, and her tenure kicked off with historic waitlists, decades of disinvestment in state public housing, a decarbonization mandate, and a market-wide housing squeeze across the state.

The Boston native says she, and her team, are up for the challenge. 

“I had this really strong sense growing up that the city does not happen by accident,” Bok said. “That it is really the work of people doing it.”

Read CommonWealth Beacon's article "Kenzie Bok says Boston housing shortage no accident."


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