The Jamaica Plain Gazette reports on forums JP Progressives held for the two main candidates for mayor this year.
He started off sounding like a smart, reasonable guy:
“Our population is growing. If we to continue to grow as a city, we have to put more housing stock on the market,” Walsh said. “I think a subsidy or stabilization of rents is not the answer because the problem will still exist.”
But then boom goes the dynamite:
“Young people are moving into single family houses and taking over a whole community. These houses used to be family houses years ago. We want to convert those back to neighborhood and family houses,” Walsh said.
Who's "we," you giant tool? What the (expletive) is a "neighborhood house?" Is that some obnoxious code word for desired social engineering? Is somebody not deserving of picking the location of their shelter because they're a customer of a college?
We dont want any young people moving here and having kids and filling that home with a family. That would be bad!
Tito saved some bad teachers of color and crucified the administrators who evaluated them. You know what it's like to get called a racist here? What administrator is going to evaluate them now?
The teachers will be there til they retire, wiping out years of learning. Repeat that 100 times across the system. No accountability, no evaluation, thats why there are few families staying in these houses.
People no longer live with their parents unless they have to.
It sounds like the guy who lived on his own and waited a long time to marry expects that other people will only move out from their parent's house and buy houses when they get married, and only for themselves and their children.
It isn't 1970 anymore. That isn't how people live. Since the 1980s at least, young people teaming up to rent larger homes are doing so in areas where the families already do not want to live. They haven't pushed the families out - the rents are cheap due to a combo of families not wanting to live there and landlords not wanting children there (illegal, yes, but common and not well policed).
Four young people with white collar jobs can, collectively, easily outpay two working parents who also face the costs of kids. That's just the reality.
That means that young people, living together, will in fact push families out in some places. That's A-OK. Fair is fair, and everyone is entitled to live where they want, provided they can pay for the home.
Want to release that pressure? Build more tall buildings near transit, and include microunits and other small 1 BR units. Those four folks living together may like each other now, but they don't want that lifestyle forever (if at all) -- it's the tradeoff they make because living alone is too expensive.
Make living alone less expensive Marty.
Some building would help, but that's not going to work forever, and will continue to add to congestion. It is true that young people are transforming and are able to pay more for housing where families live.
More young people live with their parents now than did in the seventies or eighties.
That life you remember from when you were a young person? That's not how it is for young people anymore. It's harder now.
I know absolutely and totally and more than you probably do what you are talking about.
The fact is, most of those kids will not live with parents until they form their own families. Not like they did in 1960. I know scores of kids this age - that is not their plan. They live with parents because they have to, not because they want to, and most of us parents are putting them on plans to get their footing and get out.
The truth about the matter - that young folks these days are more likely to live with their parents than at any time since WWII - you wouldn't have said what you did about people no longer living with their parents.
In hindsight, you always knew everything. Just like my kids. Difference is, most kids get over that.
You were grandstanding, you spoke outside your competence, and you were wrong. If you were more mature you could just admit it, get over your bourgeois assumptions, and learn something.
Never confuse one abstract statistic for an entire nation reported in a clickbait article with the ground-truthed reality of a single region.
I'm not making assumptions dear. I'm living it - and seem to be the "go to" parent for discussing the "what do I have to do so that I can move out" question (pulls out spreadsheet ...)
You just read some numbers and got proud, though. Congratulate you.
If I saw a pro here, I would take a tip. All I see is a crank who thinks her personal anecdotes overrule the rest of the data in the world. You're special, honey, but you're not that special.
You might want to check out the trends that the Census Bureau found (table on page 6.) True, it is only a comparison of 1975 to 2016, but the numbers are a bit off from your anecdotes.
Nobody lives with her parents unless they have to. In the 50s the population of Boston was so high that the really wasn't anywhere for a single professional to live affordably. So they either lived at home with their families or lived in a rooming house. In the 70s the cities of emptied out and in the 80s there were apartments available in the city that a young entry-level workers could afford. It is population density that dictates whether young people can afford to move out of their families homes.
Yes, it is rather a problem when 4-5 of them get together and rent out three deckers and landlords can jack the rents up (due to it being shared so many ways). If that is what he is talking about, then I agree - and the city is getting colleges on board to ensure that the colleges themselves have enough dorms to house their students so they don't have as much effect on housing stock in the immediate areas.
Those rents are not jacked up because of that. That's the market rate.
There's also the issue that campuses regularly get denied construction of new dorms.
Get out isn't a good policy and it's not going to happen.
Cause it certainly drove rents up in Mission Hill, and we even have a law specifically limiting the number of college kids that can live together (not that anyone gives a shit about it). Also, the City (under Marty) has fast tracked, implored, and set goals for colleges to have all their students in dorms, and colleges are all building them right now, including ones that should never have been approved (see Emerson). So, I am not sure what you are talking about.
Because it's unenforceable. First, do you really want wards of the state, possibly carrying firearms, showing up at your residence and asking you whether or not you're a customer of a college?
What an asinine provision, largely because it's invasive of privacy, but also, how do you intend to make somebody prove that they are in college when it would benefit them to claim that they aren't? You aren't getting my name without a search warrant, and you're not getting one of those unless you've suspected that I've committed a crime, at which point, if I'm found guilty, you can put me in jail, and then I'm not bothering the neighbors anymore.
Maybe "we don't want college kids living here" is simply the lazy, wussy answer to "we want to punish these people for being loud and making lots of garbage." Those are civil infractions. If somebody's obnoxious enough, maybe jail them for one day for disturbing the peace.
College students are adults. Adults get to make adults decisions, e.g., where to live based on what they can afford, and have adult consequences for their behavior.
It would be interesting to see if the law would hold up in court (and my gut tells me it wouldn't via City of Worcester v. College Hill Properties), but, I wouldn't say occupancy laws in general are terrible, as, yes, if you are squeezing 20 people into a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment it brings all sorts of problems and elevated risks (of fire), and, yeah, I wouldn't have a problem with inspection services being called.
Secondly, the point was to focus in on one tiny point - I didn't state students would be forced into dorms or anything else, just that colleges are aggressively building dorms to meet the requirement that they have enough room to house all of their students, and, one would think after that investment, colleges would have incentives for students to actually live in them vs. off campus housing.
They should specify the number of occupants, though - not what they do for a living.
If the relative responses after fatal fires are any indication, obsession with occupation and not occupancy or even living conditions is the norm around here. Too many kids in a slum trap = big deal. Eight kids die in a one bedroom apartment = sad tragedy, don't question the lack of heat, move on ...
Why shouldn't they have been approved?
I find the destruction of the alley way and business and sterilization of what was an interesting little nook of the city to be wrong, given it was almost one of a kind at this point. At least they aren't going to turn the Colonial Theatre into a cafeteria.
But not to the exclusion of creating human shelter.
Cause we should totally let colleges and universities take over the city, right, and whitewash any remaining character?
There's a finite amount of money to be spent on studying film.
mad at Emerson for destroying an alley in the COMBAT ZONE. Is this where you used to make your drug deals or something?
Off by a few decades, but, for the record, I sold over on Lower Washington* - hopefully make enough to get a date for the night over on Tyler, Hudson, or Cortes.
But in the past, well almost two decades or more, that alley has had a bunch of interesting and viable nightclubs and bars, and was one of the only places like it in Boston that heralded back to European cities.
*Just kidding - I would never demean myself to selling on the street
I assumed you meant the building behind the Majestic, which miraculously Emerson was able to cram in what was, basically, an alley on Tremont st, a nice dark one.
I believe you are referring to THE alley, where all the bars are. There are still bars there and DBs pouring out of it at 2am. Is Emerson taking it over? I hadn't heard...
Aw....I miss the hookers on Cortes...
Although I agree that calling something a "neighborhood house" sounds a bit like nativist v newcomer silliness, what he is talking about here, in practical terms, is requiring college students to live on campus. Marty is a real supply and demand guy when it comes to the cost of housing in Boston, and just as he believes (and I tend to agree) that we will greatly lessen our problem by increasing supply to meet demand (we are 30-40K units short right now!), in this one sector, he is also trying to actually reduce demand in certain areas by taking prospective renters (college kids) out of the market all together. A bit of an "attack it from both sides" approach. Whether the increase supply side of things can work, I don't know, as the demand is extremely high and our economic success as a region is driving much of that. However, for certain neighborhoods where there are many off-campus students, taking them out of the market seems to stand a good chance of freeing up housing for other renters and thus potentially causing pricing to fall. As for rent control, just a terrible idea unless you want to dissinsentivize investment/maintenance in existing property and cool the incentive for building any new rental property, which in turn would likely only drive the cost of ownership even higher by chilling new supply.
When I was a child in the 70's, everyone fled the cities because of crime. During the years after that you could afford a single family home in boston.
In 1985, the house across the street was worth 63k and the population of boston was 563k. That same home is worth 515k now and boston's population is 673k. This the same amount of people that lived in boston in the 1960's. In the 50's the population was 800k. Back then, families were bigger and most single professionals lived at home or in a rooming house.
What I am saying is that even if you make a single family home affordable, the population is too high to think that you could have these neighborhood houses.
6 to 16 twenty somethings in house make awful neighbors. But young people that live alone go out to socialize. We need more affordable single units in Dorchester to bring down rent prices in a natural way.
If you mean units that are restricted as affordable, that's one thing. Adding density everywhere to try to keep prices affordable isn't the best solution though.
Putting microunits in the Back Bay and the Seaport will never have an affordable market rate. Dorchester has very few one bedroom apartments despite and overall lower rate per square foot.
There are 3 vacant lots with crumbling structures on them on popes hill alone. Profit is the problem. We don't need more luxury condominiums in Dorchester. We need efficiencies for entry level workers. Building units that could be rented for under a thousand won't make much profit but they wouldn't lose money either.
The problem with that is you can't really control how much demand there is, so you will always just be building without any long term affordability. Some restricted affordable units would be better.
That is what this whole debate is about. The fantasy that single family homes are a moral value communities use zoning to prevent new building. That intensifies demand until people and businesses give up and move away.
We need more housing for entry level workers. If those young people could live in a micro apartment for 700-1000 then rents would come down.
We could use more rooming houses. Realtors hate them, of course, but they were the norm for single adults in urban areas for centuries.
Boston has adequate zoning codes for them (some university residences fall under that code). They were seen as antiquated and squalid during suburban expansion, but there seems to be a need for them today. Other cities refer to these as Single Room Occupancy.
Like a stripped down b&b. And usually stricter rules about guests, curfew and partying.
Would it be crazy for colleges to share dorms? Put them in central locations and have colleges pool their money?
That's arbitrarily declaring that other people's single family homes' are somehow the primary reason for high housing costs, while ignoring things like speculators. You are the only one attempting to make a moral argument. Someone could question the morals of someone who demands that everyone else compromise on their modest single family homes for the newest arrivals who demand immediate housing in an extremely expensive area.
Anyone with enough money can I have a single-family home in Suffolk County. Preventing other people from developing vacant lots with condemned buildings is contributing to high housing costs. Boston is a city, at this population level single-family home is a luxury not immoral.
Vacant lots is something else.
The exact number of housing units needed can be debated. More would help, but there's also congestion issues to worry about. There's other things that can be done like requiring affordable units.
Boston is only congested for cars. There used to be 800k people in this city. In ten years there could be more. You can't stop it. Unless you want people living in garages and campers and tent slums popping up you have to build for it.
Developers just pay into a fund instead of including affordable housing on their location. There's only going to be vastly more residents if you keep adding more housing. You can reduce it by limiting how much housing you build. Not every area can be made affordable by adding market rate housing. You brought up congestion, and more housing adds to that.
When you grew up (anon) the city was empty. Twenty somethings could afford apartments downtown and existing single family homes were available for people that wanted to stay in the city. Limiting housing will hurt economic growth. If employers can't fill positions they will leave.
It was not empty. Some places get more expensive, you can't keep them affordable for everyone with just construction. Employers won't all leave, they will just expand elsewhere. You are with focusing on growth instead the residents.
In other words, leave.
Sorry, but you don't own the city - it continues along without your permission.
The average teacher in Boston makes $100,000 per year?
It sounds like that data is 3 years old...and still sounds pretty close to $100k.
citing 2014-2015 figures. Probably a bit higher now.
2014-2015 is 3 years old data. So, if it's "a bit higher now", then the poster who said "$100k" is even closer. Why bother with the snarky response?
Teaching kids is hard. In Mass it requires additional education yourself. If you think teachers are overpaid why don't you become one.
In a better world teachers would make more money then investment bankers, the latter of which is just gambling on someone else's talents.
You don't really know how investment banking works, do you?
Yeah, it was basically gambling that year. Perhaps not the slots, but the ROI at that time period for your average investment banker working in real estate was significantly worse than my ROI at Suffolk Downs, and I'm a crappy handicapper.
Because of student debt, low wages and high rents young people are forced to live together in modern day rooming houses. The good news for Mayor Marty is that young people don't vote.
they lived in luxurious studios.
Reality check--student housing has never been better. In the past most students lived at home, or boarded with families, or yes, in various other crowded and fairly crummy arrangements. I hear you on the loans, etc. but student life has never been particularly luxurious or comfortable.
When my parents and aunts and uncles were young they lived in tenements. The tenements got banned, yet they still exist in some form.
I know it's good policy for politicians to give away free lunches, but every data point on rent control says it makes every problem worse.
Finding a way to build affordable housing is harder with the BRD, zoning, and Nimbyism, so I get why they're not tackling it. But the hard path is the only path out in a city that expects 130,000 new residents by 2030, and even more jobs and businesses.
And Boston needs it back.
We lost it due to a statewide referendum where the real estate industry put megabucks into anti rent control propaganda.
The majority of Boston residents voted to keep rent control but the absentee landlords and a misled public who don't live in Boston voted against it.
No we have a housing crises and more slumlords than ever.
an absentee landlord nor a member of the misled public (and I live in Boston) and I voted against rent control. I think there are many of us living in Boston who were here when there was rent control, and decided it was a bad idea. We aren't misled--we just don't agree with you.
I can see why it was good for renters. Why was it bad? Full disclosure : I am a landlord.
It removes all incentive for landlords to make any investment (or upkeep) on their properties when they basically can not raise rent. It also artificially depreciates the value of multi-family housing as an investment, so, existing landlords would be further screwed as their property values would go down. It go to the point where entire sections of Fenway, Roxbury, and all of they city there were tons of "mystery" fires as landlords simply torched their buildings for insurance value vs trying to keep them going (or even selling them as they were probably underwater).
Furthermore, it disincentivizes building any new rental properties, as everything is basically capped, thus making the return on the capital investment not that appealing. So what we ended up with was nothing new being built and existing housing stock falling apart/being torched.
"It removes all incentive for landlords to make any investment (or upkeep) on their properties when they basically can not raise rent."
Most landlords don't really upkeep apartments anyway and they still jack the prices. I've seen some shitholes during my apartment search.
I keep up my properties, and most around the city I have seen do, too, unless you are going into student slum housing ala Anwar Faisal. We are also talking about things like upkeep enough to not get it condemned/fall down.
The old appearance of many of the apartments out there suggests that many people don't feel much intensive to upgrade the the rooms they rent out.
Just, no. Every city voted it down, and it caused massive issues in Boston.
Rent control was voted down in 1992 because Cambridge ruined it for everyone.
It was voted down because the small-property owner's group that opposed rent control and stabilization did a smart thing: They got the question on a statewide ballot even though only three communities (Boston, Cambridge and Brookline) actually had those measures - and so the rest of the state effectively vetoed a program in just those three communities.
Maybe they would have been able to revamp their program. But even the mayor was sitting on a large pile of money in savings while living in a rent controlled apartment. Meanwhile, landlords struggled to do even emergency maintenance because the rents were too low to support even painting the damn houses.
When I was looking for a place after graduation, I saw frequent "reward - $1500 for a rent controlled apartment". Sad. That's why Cambridge and the abuses in Cambridge led to a statewide revolt.
Rent control in Boston = Landlords have no financial incentive, don't maintain buildings until they either fall down or are toched by arsonists to collect the insurance
There was virtually no residential construction in Boston since rent control was enacted and look how much was built in the decades following the repeal.
Most of that has been Luxury Condos, which no one can afford anyway.
As recently as 05-12 prices were rising reasonably in the city as a whole and then stayed flat during the recession.
The housing crisis now is a direct result of demand increases every year since the 2000s, yet a decade where very little was built during the credit crunch. We're still trying to catch up.
Plus there isn't anything wrong with luxury. It keeps prices down on old housing stock and small landlord rentals, if new units are meeting demand.
Otherwise those luxury buyers are just going to gut triple deckers. Worse, if there's a huge supply imbalance, they turn multi family dwellings back into large single families (as is happening in some other cities).
You want to talk about devastation to the middle class / poor? Turning 3 units into 1 is about as bad as you can get in a city that already is strapped for housing.
It is not keeping prices down on existing housing stock and older buildings. Nobody can find section 8 housing for their families in Boston anymore.
This is more of the fake trickle down economics. The fantasy that rich people buying apartments and high profit in the housing industry is helping the community.
Building small efficient units for entry-level workers and families might not bring a high profit margin but they would definitely pay for themselves in this market. It is wrong for the city to not take some kind of control over the situation.
Rent control one of the primary reasons why San Francisco is entering a new age of haves and have nots — at some point I heard it thrown around that only 6% is at market rate.
Economists are virtually unanimous in concluding that rent controls are destructive. In a 1990 poll of 464 economists published in the May 1992 issue of the American Economic Review, 93 percent of U.S. respondents agreed, either completely or with provisos, that “a ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available.”1 Similarly, another study reported that more than 95 percent of the Canadian economists polled agreed with the statement.2 The agreement cuts across the usual political spectrum, ranging all the way from Nobel Prize winners milton friedman and friedrich hayek on the “right” to their fellow Nobel laureate gunnar myrdal, an important architect of the Swedish Labor Party’s welfare state, on the “left.” Myrdal stated, “Rent control has in certain Western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by governments lacking courage and vision.”3 His fellow Swedish economist (and socialist) Assar Lindbeck asserted, “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing.”4 That cities like New York have clearly not been destroyed by rent control is due to the fact that rent control has been relaxed over the years.5 Rent stabilization, for example, which took the place of rent control for newer buildings, is less restrictive than the old rent control. Also, the decades-long boom in the New York City housing market is not in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized units, but in condominiums and cooperative housing. But these two forms of housing ownership grew important as a way of getting around rent control.
I calibrate the [spatial] model to the U.S. economy and find that the rise in regulation accounts for 23% of the increase in wage dispersion and 85% of the increase in house price dispersion across metro areas from 1980 to 2007. I find that if regulation had not increased, more workers would live in productive areas and output would be 2% higher. I also show that policy interventions that weaken incentives of local governments to restrict supply could reduce wage and house price dispersion, and boost productivity.
Rent control isn’t the solution, and MA was wise to outlaw it. Politicians trying to bring it back don’t know what they are talking about (as with many economic issues that sound good on paper but are awful in practice)
Transit expansion is a pretty vital component of bringing costs under control, too - both because it makes new opportunities for high density TOD and because it spreads the current demand over a wider area.
Unfortunately that's even harder than getting more housing built near existing transit so....
If we had more reliable high quality transit people would have more housing alternatives. As it is we haven't had any new T construction since 1987 when the southern part of the Orange Line was rebuilt.
Assembly Square Station and the Silver Line in its entirety disagree with you.
That is an infill station. Big difference.
GLX is an expansion.
The Sliver Lie cannot be called T expansion It's a bus that runs in traffic with the exception of a small number of right-of-ways/tunnels. False comparison.
Imagine a high speed rail with stops in Framingham and Worcester. Not only would it transform this cities, it would bolster the regional economy in and between as people could freely flow between economic hubs in 30-60 min.
I can't believe it took this long for someone to raise this.
If we had a real train system that could bring you from Brockton to Boston in 20 mins (and at a reasonable cost), as such a system would in other developed countries, our Boston-area housing problem would be significantly mitigated. It would also have the nice effect of greatly uplifting Brockton, lessening the need for public support there, which could free up more money for greater transpo investment, etc.
Brockton is only one (prime) example. This goes for any number of communities in eastern Massachusetts. Hell, if the trains from Worcester, Fitchburg and Leominster took 40 minutes or less (again, as it would in other developed countries) we could include central Massachusetts, too.
Expansion AND intensification, i.e. using the infrastructure we have more intensely, specifically the commuter rail. There's a huge push right now for the North-South Rail Link to be built, which will allow the commuter lines to run much more frequently - every 20 minutes or so. This makes the commuter rail much more useful to many more people, both in flexibility of use and in ability to get a seat/standing spot in the more crowded trains.
Some people keep talking as if accepting some arbitrary number of new residents is a mandate. There mere existence of lower density areas in a city is not automatically NIMBY. It's already extremely dense compared to many others.
The current low density of the neighborhoods it is the result of a temporary reduction in the population of the city. When thosehouses were built families were much bigger and they were servants living in the attic.
The city needs to invest in helping people that need help, not help middle class families "preserve" a wealthy lifestyle.
As long as we're getting rent control back, can we get blue laws too?
Once I got used to absolutely everything being closed on Sundays, it was kinda nice.
Why on earth would you want things to be closed on sundays? This isn't the 1800s or rural Alabama(same difference). People around here don't go to church.
"People around here don't go to church."
What? You post crazy but today is gold!
Why can't you log in? WON'T log in is more like it.
Of course people around here go to church on Sunday. It's just that service starts with a coin toss at 1pm on channel 5.
Because local retail on its deathbed really needs that pillow over its face.
We can't have rent control because the voters in a referendum said so and that's the la oh wait ... shit.
I'm wondering aloud about ways to get more moderate housing. Not 40B. Not luxury. Stuff in between.
What if there was a requirement on size? I don't know if it's something like max 1400 sq ft total, or BRs capped at 140 sq ft, or caps on number of showers (nobody's building a 1 shower luxury apartment, for example)?
I'm wondering if there are ways to just get more units that add to the supply of moderate priced housing (for the region).
40B won't help with that. Rent control won't really help either (IMO). We need more housing stock that is sized for typical families -- both number of BRs and price. How do we get that?
The fact is that have affordability restricted housing does provide places to live for a wider number of people.
I agree with the Mayor, it is about supply and demand. We need more unit of every type across the city and region. When he spoke about young people occupying houses he most likely was talking about either ONE or TWO young people making a lot of money living in a whole house by themselves or a large group all splitting the rent. Don't tell me it does not happen, I know people who occupy a whole home by themselves because there were no condo's available at a decent price so they bought a home and fixed it up. In regards to 5 young people each renting a bedroom, they can easily each put up almost 1k a piece in many cases and that just becomes insane amounts of money a small family can not keep up with.
The problem with rent control and affordable housing is you are picking winners and losers. Telling people where they can and can't live. With rent control you can stop me from buying a triple decker and filling it with my family which is what set a lot of people off. Especially people from Boston because that is how we used to use triple deckers. We need to build as many units as we can and that will help drive down prices. Especially micro lofts in the center of the city where young people want to live.
I've always hated lottery systems for things, it takes decisions out of your hands. It also is admitting defeat instead of fixing the problem.
When it comes to these investment apartments. I'd like to see how many of these exist in Boston and how much they are altering the market. Is this akin to the boogy man that Republicans created around the "Welfare Queen" of the 80's? Ohhhhh look she is taking all your money, when in reality she represented a very small number of people. In the absence of a study I feel this may be the same "ohhhh Boston watch out, those rich Chinese people are buying you homes and to add insult to injury they don't even live in them!!!" I would be shocked if it happened often enough to move the bar. If it were a problem why not suggest legislation, I think a City Councillor could do this, that limits zoning to only allow housing that will be occupied over 50 percent of the time by a full time resident?
Yep, I fixed up a place that needed a lot of care. Like loose asbestos tiles over dirt floors a lot. Even after the money the repairs have soaked up, because of the timing, it was cheaper to buy and renovate a big empty house than to buy a move-in ready condo a third the size. And don't get me started on condo fees.
But I didn't go through reno hell just for funzies. It's so that eventually the basement unit (now Universal Design and wheelchair-friendly) can be my mother's retirement apartment, and in the meantime, the rental income takes some of the sting out of all those repair costs.
If my mom has a stroke or other long-term care needs, I'm moving her in as soon as the tenant's lease is up. If renting it out at any point means I can't get it back without a long expensive legal fight, the rental income just isn't worth it, and that unit drops from the market. Not exactly good for supply to scare landlords out of the business entirely.
Some people are insistent in suggesting that it's not a factor, but it's widely regarded as a growing trend in the region, and it does displace local people who are integrated into the region.
More housing in some places helps, but so does requiring that some units be affordable. Hoping that more housing everywhere makes it affordable is not realistic, and doesn't really make for the most desirable region either. It does add to profit margins though.
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