Cambridge legalizes basement apartments

The Cambridge City Council vote top legalize basement apartments by a 7-2 vote last night, according to The Cambridge Day.

The legalization goes into effect May 1. According to The Day, the ordinance, based on a petition from Central Square landlord Patrick Barrett, was supposed to be studied for another year. However, concern over rising rents and the large number of illegal conversions in the city, prompted councilors to action.

In other news, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the creation of an Office of Housing Stability at the State of the City Address Tuesday and there are indications that the City is going to look at using tax policy to incentivize landlords to more infrequent and smaller rent increases.

GE announced that it was moving its world headquarters and its 800 employees from Fairfield, CT to Boston. Between them, according to The Boston Globe, the City and the Commonwealth are providing around $250 million worth of subsidies and tax breaks, or $312,500 an employee. The bulk of that money, which would cover the MBTA’s operating edeficit for FY 2017 or extend Late Night Service for  over 17 years, is going to “infrastructure improvements,” which apparently mean expanding the road connections and parking in the Seaport District and building a helipad for corporate executives’ use. Which shows where the politicians’ priorities lie.

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