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GOVDOC

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BOSTON: POPULATION AND HOUSING



!



BASIC POPULATION AND HOUSING STATISTICS
CITY OF BOSTON



John F. Collins, Mayor



Research Unit
Boston Redevelopment Authority



\



February, 1966



(\



Proosfw of
BOSTON REDEV ; m Property of

-. Library BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Library *






BOSTON: POPULATION AND HOUSING

BASIC POPULATION AND HOUSING STATISTICS
CITY OF BOSTON



John F. Collins , Mayor



Research Unit
Boston Redevelopment Authority



February, 1966






.






iii



FOREWORD



The Boston Redevelopment Authority has prepared this report,
"Boston: Population and Housing" to provide an easily accessible source
of basic housing and population statistics for the City of Boston. The
information provided is correct through December 3L, 19&5-

The purpose of this report is to insure uniformity and accuracy
in data utilized by the various agencies involved in the City's housing
activities. In most instances the information was collected from secon-
dary sources such as the i960 United States Census and Redevelopment
Authority's files. However, in some cases it was advantageous to refer
to primary sources such as the Building Department of the City of Boston.
The information which was not available in reportable form was derived by
the Research Unit of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

It is hoped that the information contained in this report will
be expanded and kept current in succeeding issues and that it will, in
this way, provide a valuable standard reference guide for city officials.



iii



FOREWORD



The Boston Redevelopment Authority has prepared this report,
"Boston: Population and Housing" to provide an easily accessible source
of basic housing and population statistics for the City of Boston. The
information provided is correct through December "SL } 1965.

The purpose of this report is to insure uniformity and accuracy
in data utilized by the various agencies involved in the City's housing
activities. In most instances the information was collected from secon-
dary sources such as the i960 United States Census and Redevelopment
Authority's files. However, in some cases it was advantageous to refer
to primary sources such as the Building Department of the City of Boston.
The information which was not available in reportable form was derived by
the Research Unit of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

It is hoped that the information contained in this report will
be expanded and kept current in succeeding issues and that it will, in
this way, provide a valuable standard reference guide for city officials.



TABLE OF CONTENTS



V. RENTS

A. Changes in Gross Rent, 1950-1960
VI. POPULATION

A. Introduction



Page



FOREWARD

I. THE CURRENT HOUSING INVENTORY 1V

A. Housing Unit Inventory as of December 31 > 1965 1

B. Housing Structure Inventory as of January 1, 19°U 3

C. City-Wide Change in Residential Structure Composition 5

D. Private, Public and Aided Housing 7

E. Title I Urban Renewal Program 9

II. CHANGES IN THE HOUSING INVENTORY

A. Aggregate Changes ^

B. Recent Housing Construction by Program 1^

III. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOUSING INVENTORY

1 c

Occupied Housing Units ^°

18



1. Year Structure Built

2. Units in Structure

3. Number of Bedrooms 20
Vacant Housing Units



22
2k



IV. HOUSING QUALITY

A. Quality of the Total Housing Inventory 2 °

B. Quality of Housing by White and Non-White Population

Groups

1. Household Size ^9

2. Size of Housing Unit 31

•3'3

3. Income ^
k. Gross Rent 35

5. Gross Rent as a Percentage of Income 3o

6. Crowding



k2



hk



B. Population Trend From 1900 to i960 J* 5

C. Population by Color and Ethnic Group ^7



TABLE OP CONTENTS
(Continued)



VI. POPULATION (Continued)



VII.



VIII.



IX.



D.

E.


Migration
Age


HOUSEHOLDS


A.
B.
C.
D.


Introduction
Household Size
Tenure
Income


THE AGING


A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.


Introduction

Increasing Number

Tenure

Quality of Housing

Income

Rent

Gross Rent as a Percentage of Income


LARGE FAMILIES


A.
B.
C.
D.


Introduction

Space

Quality of Housing

Gross Rent



X. THE PUBLIC AND PUBLICLY -AIDED HOUSING PROGRAMS



Page



^9
51



53
5^
56
57



59
60
62
63
65
67
68



69
70
72



76
78



A . Introduction

B. Public Housing

C. The Leasing Program 79

D. Title I Urban Renewal °°

E. Chapter 121A Corporations ° 1

F. F.H.A. Section 221(d)(3) °*

G. Elderly Housing Under the C.F.A. Program (Section 202 °3

Direct Loans)

H. Rehabilitation Under Sections "220" and "221" o4

TECHNICAL NOTES 86

INDEX 8 7



TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Continued)



TABLES



Page



1-1 Estimated Housing Unit Inventory of City of Boston as of

December 31, 1965 2

1-2 Estimated Housing Unit Inventory of City of Boston as of

January 1, 1964 4

1-3 Net Change in Residential Structures and Families by Number

of Family Units per Structure for City of Boston 1960-I965 6
I-k Situated Housing Inventory of City of Boston by Type of

Program as of December $1, 1965 ^

1-5 Housing Units Completed in Title I Urban Renewal Areas for

City of Boston as of December 31, 1965 10



II-l Changes in the Housing Inventory of the City of Boston,

1956-1965 13

II -2 New Units Added to the Housing Inventory by Program for

City of Boston, 1956-1965 and I96O-I965 15

III-l Year Structure Built by Tenure for City of Boston, i960 17

III -2 Units in Structure by Tenure for City of Boston, i960 19

III-3 Number of Bedrooms by Tenure for City of Boston, i960 21
III-U Selected Characteristics of Vacant Housing Units Available

for Rent in City of Boston, i960 23



IV-1 Condition and Plumbing Facilities by Tenure for City of

Boston, i960 27

IV-2 Number of Persons in Household by Quality of Housing and

By Color for City of Boston, i960 30

IV-3 Number of Rooms by Quality of Housing and by Color for City

of Boston, i960 32

TV-k Income in 1950 of Primary Families and Individuals in Renter-
Occupied Units by Qaulity of Housing for City of Boston,
i960 3^

IV-5 Gross Rent for Renter-Occupied Units by Quality of Housing

and by Color for City of Boston, i960 36

IV-6 Gross Rent as a Percentage of Income by Quality of Housing

for City of Boston, i960 39

IV-7 Persons per Room by Quality of Housing for City of Boston,

i960 ^1



vii



TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Continued)



TABLES



Page



V-l Changes in Gross Rent for City of Boston, 1950 and i960 k$



VI-1 Population Distribution by General Neighborhood Renewal

Plan Area for City of Boston, I90O-I965 k6

VI-2 Population by Color for City of Boston, 19to, 1950 and i960 k8

VI-3 Population Changes by Color for City of Boston, 19^0 to

1950 ; 1950 to i960 50

Vl-k Age Distribution by Color for City of Boston, 1950 and i960 52



VII-1 Distribution of Households by Size of Household and Tenure

for City of Boston, 19^, 1950 and i960 55

VII -2 Income in 1959 of One-Person and Two-or-More Person House-
holds by Tenure for City of Boston, i960 58

VIII-1 Persons 65 Years and Over by Age Group and Sex for City of

Boston, 19*10, 1950 and i960 6l

VIII -2 Condition and Plumbing Facilities for Renter-Occupied Housing

Units with Head 65 Years and Over for City of Boston, i960 6k

VTII-3 Income in 1959 for Occupied Housing Units with Head 65 Years

and Over for City of Boston, i960 66



IX-1 Number of Rooms for Renter-Occupied Households with Five and

Six-or-More Persons for City of Boston, i960 71

IX-2 Condition and Plumbing Facilities for Renter-Occupied House-
holds with Five and Six-or-More Persons for City of
Boston, i960 73

IX-3 Gross Monthly Rent for Renter-Occupied Households with Five

and Six-or-More Persons for City of Boston, i960 75



X-l Housing Units in Public and Publicly-Assisted, City of 85
Boston, by Type of Program as of December 31j 1965



- 1 -



I. THE CURRENT HOUSING INVENTORY



A. Housing Unit Inventory as of December 31? 1965

The City of Boston had approximately 253>900 housing units
as of December 31, I965. This represents a net gain of 15,300 (6.kfo)
units since April 1, i960 (Table I-l).

The first half of the decade 1960-1970 showed a remarkably
steady net increase in housing units beginning with the last 9 months
i960 which showed a loss of 721 units to a peak net increase in 196k of
8,150 units. The year I96U alone accounted for a 3.3 percent increase
in the overall housing unit stock.



2 -



Table 1-1

ESTIMATED HOUSING UNIT INVENTORY
OF CITY 0. F BOSTON AS OF
DECEMBER 3 1, 19 6 5



Number

Total Housing Units: April 1, i960 238,51+7

Total Housing Units: December 31, 1965 253,836

Gross increase: April 1, i960 - December 31, 1965 25,810

New construction 22,250

Alteration and repair 3, 560

Housing units lost through demolition -10,521

Net change in housing units: +15,289

April 1, i960 - December 31, 1965

Net change in housing units by year:



April 1, i960 -


• December 31, 1965


- 721


1961




+ 966


1962




+2,356


1963




+2,5^0


196h




+8,150


1965




+1,998



Source: Building Department, City of Boston.



- 3



B. Housing Structure Inventory as of December 31, 1965

Residential structures numbered approximately 89,000 in the
City as of December 31, 1965. This represents a slight net increase of
l65 structures since January 1, i960. The year 196^ again proved very
active in housing construction with a net increase of 5^9 structures
(see Table 1-2).

Comparing the rather sizable net increase in housing units
with the diminutive gain in residential structures indicates that many
old (built prior to 1939) rather small (2 to k units) residential struc-
tures have been demolished, while nearly two-thirds (6kfo) of new resi-
dential construction has been allocated to larger, multiple family (k
units or more) complexes.



Table 1-2

ESTIMATED HOUSING STRUCTURE

INVENTORY CITY OF BOSTON AS

OF DECEMBER 3 1, 1 9 6 5



Number



Total Structures: January 1, i960 ll+2,lU4

Total Structures: January 1, I96U 11*2,1+23

Total Residential Structures: April 1, i960 88,828

Total Residential Structures: December 31, 1965 88,993.

Habitations erected 3,670

Habitations razed 3, 505

Net change in residential structures +165

Net change in residential structures by year:

April 1, i960 - December 31, 1965 - 176

1961 - Uo

1962 ■+ 212

1963 + 21
1961+ + 5*+9

1965 - toi

Source: Building Department, City of Boston.



- 5



C. Cits'-Wide Change In Residential Structure Composition

Table 1-3 indicates the change in residential structures
according to the number of units per building for the period 1960-
I965. This table j.s not comparable in all cases with information in
Table 1-1 and Table' 1-2, and is meant merely as a guide to show net
changes in structures of various sizes.

Single-family units have shown net increases over each of
the five years studied, while two, three and four family have shown
in almost all cases net declines. Multi-family structures (5 units
or more) have generally dominated the City's housing construction
since i960.



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- 7 -



D. Private, Public and Aided Housing

As of December 31; 19^5; 6.3 percent of Boston's housing
stock consisted of residential structures built under some form of
public assistance. Programs provided by the Federal government
accounted for k.6 percent of this total, while the remaining 1.7
percent was undertaken with some form of State or City aid.

The various programs listed below are described in some
detail in Chapter X.



8 -



Table 1-4



ESTIMATED HOUSING
OF CITY OF BOSTON
OF PROGRAM AS OF
DECEMBER 3 1, 19^5



INVENTORY
BY TYPE



Type of Housing Program



Housing Units
Number



Completed
Percentage



Total

Privately financed housing

Public housing or publicly assisted
private housing

Publicly assisted private housing



253,863


100.0


237,800


93.7


16,063


6.3


1,594


.6



Under State or City programs
121A private corporation project



422



.2



Under Federal programs

221(d)(3) limited dividend housing

Public housing programs

Federally-aided
Federally-aided for elderly
State-aided (Mass. Ch. 200)
State-aided for elderly (Mass. Ch. 667)



1,172


.4


14,469


5.7


10,156

472

3,681

.160


4.0
.2

1.4
.1



Source: Boston Housing Authority, Boston Redevelopment Authority.



- 9



E. Title I Urban Renewal Program

Boston's urban renewal program is financed in part through
the combined assistance of the City, State, and Federal governments.

One of the Boston Redevelopment Authority's major goals has
been to improve and increase the housing stock of the City. As of
December 31j 19&5; approximately 2,300 housing units have been con-
structed within urban renewal areas. A further breakdown indicates
1,400 or three-fifths of these units are privately financed with no
public assistance. The units are a result of the original Federal
Housing Act of 19^9 and were constructed prior to the numerous Federal,
State, and local programs designed to accelerate residential construc-
tion in and outside of urban renewal areas. In addition, these units
have served to strengthen the City's tax base.

Table 1-5 indicates that since the initiation of the various
publicly-assisted programs, 900 units have been constructed within
urban renewal areas. These same programs have also provided for the
construction of 1,100 dwelling units outside of renewal areas.



10



Table 1-5

HOUSING UNITS COMPLETED IN
TITLE I URBAN RENEWAL AREAS
FOR CITY OF BOSTON AS OF
DECEMBER 3 1, 1965



Housing Units Completed
Type of Housing Program Number Percentage



Total as of January 1, 1966 2,289 100

Privately financed, non-assisted 1,^07 6l

Publicly-assisted - State & City

privately financed 121A private U22 18

corporation project

Publicly-assisted - Federal

privately financed, 221(d)(3) k60 21

limited divident housing,
low interest rates



Source: Boston Housing Authority, Boston Redevelopment Authority.



11 -



II. CHANGES IN THE HOUSING INVENTORY



A. Aggregate Changes

Based on information provided by the City's Building Depart-
ment, it is possible to review in detail changes that have occurred in
Boston's housing inventory during the past ten years (1956-1965). The
net average annual change in housing units is noted below.

Average Annual Net
Period Increase in Housing Units

1956-1960 - 700

I96I-I965 +3,200

Table II-l shows additions to the housing inventory by new
construction and conversions (changing the type of occupancy to housing
and creating many small units from a few large ones); mergers"Xcreating
large units from a greater number of smaller ones), and demolitions
result in a removal of housing units from the inventory.

The following changes have taken place in Boston since 1956:

1. The City has added 25,000 housing units to its in-
ventory in the last ten years. Construction of
these new units has increased steadily since 1956
(571 units), and by 196k (10,0^9 units) completion of
new housing units had increased almost eighteen-fold
per year. Conversions adding to the housing inven-
tory have remained constant on an average of about
500 per year.

2. Demolitions have totalled nearly 17,000 in the ten
year period and have remained at a fairly consistant
level of about 1,700 per annum since 1956. Mergers
account for, on the average, about 5 percent of those
housing units removed from the inventory, but appear
to be on the increase.



- 12 -



3. The five-year period 1956-1960 showed an overall
loss of 3; 500 housing units, an average annual
rate of -700. The period I96I-I965 showed a net
gain of 16,000 housing units, or 3,200 per year.
Overall net gain for the decade was 12,500 units.



- 13 -



Table II-


1














CHANG


E S I


N THE


H U S


I N G I


N V E N


TORY




OF T H


E CI


T Y OF


BOSTON








1956-


19 6 5
















Housing Units


Added


Housing Units Removed






To the
New


i Housing Inventory-
Conver-


From


the Housing Inventory




Demo-






Net


Year


Units


sions


Total


litions


Mergers


Total


Change


1956-60


3,500


1,716


5,216


8,410.


302


8,712


- 3,^96


I96I-65


21, 59^


3,269


24,863


8,234


649


8,883


+15,980


1956


571


300


871


1,167


21


1,188


- 317


1957


397


195


592


1,559


98


1,657


- 1,065


1958


603


381


984


2,229


97


2,326


- 1,342


1959


606


444


1,050


1,681


30


1,711


- 661


i960


1,3?3


396


1,719


1,774


56


1,830


- Ill


1961


1,71^


553


2,267


1,226


105


1,331


+ 936


1962


2,373


829


3,202


745


101


846


+ 2,356


1963


4,032


527


4,559


1,924


95


2,019


+ 2,540


1964


10,049


893


10,942


2,554


238


2,792


+ 8,150


1965


3,426


467


3,893


1,785


110


1,895


+ 1,998




25,094


4,985


30,079


16,644


951


17,595


+12,484



Source: Building Department, City of Boston.



- 111. -



B. Recent Housing Construction by Program

Almost ninety percent (89$) of total housing construction in
the last decade has occurred since i960.

All residential construction by publicly-assisted private hous-
ing programs and public housing programs have been completed since i960.
Chapter X points out, in some detail, that most of these programs, ex-
cepting public housing, were not available to the City prior to i960.
The Boston Housing Authority (see footnote Table II-2) has constructed
13>837 public housing units prior to 195^.

Privately financed, non-assisted housing accounts for over
ninety percent (92$) of all housing unit starts in the City. It should
be noted that public and publicly-assisted housing programs were de-
signed to supplement and stimulate construction of units in multi -family
structures, which prior to i960 had fallen in short supply.



15 -



Table II-2

NEW UNITS ADDED TO THE HOUSING
INVENTORY BY PROGRAM FOR
CITY OP BOSTON
1956-1965 AND I96O-I965



Type of Housing Program



1956-1965



Number Percent



I96O-I965



Number Percent



Total New Units



30,079 100.0 26,6k$ 100.0



Privately financed housing -


27,900


92.8


2k,k03


91.6


non-assisted










Public housing or publicly -assisted


2,179


7.2


2,2^+6


8.4


private housing










Publicly-assisted private housing


1,529


5.1


1,59**


6.0


Under State or City programs


1+22


l.U


1*22


1.6


121A private corporations










project










Under Federal programs


1,107


3.7


1,172


k.k


221 (d)(3) limited dividend










housing










Public housing programs


650


2.1


652


2.U


Federally-aided


(1)








Federally-aided for elderly


ii-70


1.5


^72


1.7


State-aided (Mass. Ch. 200)


(2)








State-aided for elderly


' 180


.6


180


• 7


(Mass. Ch. 667)











(1) 10,156 units constructed; none since 195^-

(2) 3,68l units constructed; none since 195^'



Source: Boston Housing Authority, Boston Redevelopment Authority.



16



III. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOUSING INVENTORY



A. Occupied Housing Units

Total occupied housing units for the City of Boston are studied
in Tables III-l to III-3. Data was obtained from the i960 United States
Census of Housing and presented on an owner -occupied - renter -occupied
"basis. Characteristics analysed are: Year Structure Built, Unite In
Structure, and Number of Bedrooms .

Renter-occupied units represent 73 percent and owner-occupied
27 percent of all occupied units.

1. Year Structure Built



As of i960, 90 percent of all occupied housing units
in the City vere built prior to 1939- On this basis,
owner-occupied units were slightly less at 89 percent,
while renter -occupied units showed 91 percent con-
struction prior to 1939 •



- 17 -



Table III-l



YEAR STRUCTU
CITY OF BOST
I960


R E
N


BUILT


BY TEIU


RE FOR


Year Structure Built


All Occupied
Housing Units


Owner
Occupied


Renter
Occupied


Occupied Housing Units




22^,691


6l,2kl


163,^50


1959 to March i960




678


539


139


1955 to 1958




2,5^2


1,881


661


1950 to 195^




9,326


1,976


7,350


19^0 to I9U9




9,225


2,21*6


6,979


1939 or earlier




202,920


5^,599
Percent


148, 321


Occupied Housing Units


100


100


100


1959 to March i960




1


1


(1)


1955 to 1958




1


3


(1)


1950-195^




h


3


5


19^-19^9




k


k


k


1939 or earlier




90


89


91



(l) Less than 1.0 percent.

Source: United States Census of Housing, i960.



18 -



2. Units in Structure

The City's housing unit stock is well distributed
among structures of various sizes. One and two
unit structure-s represent 32 percent of total hous-
ing unit stock; three and four unit structures, $k
percent; five units and more, 3^ percent.

Multi -family structures with 20 or more units repre-
sented only lU percent of the City's total renter-
occupied units in i960. However, it should be noted
that this percentage will be substantially increased
with the additional construction of approximately
16,600 dwelling units in multi -family structures


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Online LibraryBoston Redevelopment AuthorityBoston: population and housing: basic population and housing statistics, city of Boston → online text (page 1 of 5)