Editorial: Fix the DND map

It’s great that Mayor Walsh and the Department of Neighborhood Development have created the city’s first comprehensive student housing report.

It is not great that the report pretends Mission Hill does not exist.

The DND continues to poison its reports by using an old BRA map that was never correct. We have warned of this repeatedly, and here we go again.

We are quite certain Mission Hill exists. It even has a sign with the mayor’s name on it saying so. We’re also sure Mission Church is not in Jamaica Plain. Most importantly, we know that Mission Hill is one of the neighborhoods most impacted by off-campus student housing.

Yet the city continues to employ an utterly fictional map containing those untruths, and wrecking the capacity to easily comprehend those impacts.

The BRA itself has admitted its map was deliberately erroneous. But DND in particular continues to use and defend it under the ridiculous claim that being consistent is more important than being correct. Nor is ZIP code data the same as neighborhoods. The truth is, DND simply doesn’t want to devote the resources to fixing its mistake, and the new administration has new people who are ignorant of the problem.

The DND’s map is simply wrong and so is its neighborhood analysis. Period. If student housing matters—and it does—so does getting those things right. Do the work, folks.

Because Mission Hill exists.

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