Why small businesses are paying attention to housing

Monique Ching/Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance. Above: Ray Hamilton (left) and Rajia Abdelaziz are co-founders of a Massachusetts startup that produces jewelry that customers can use to contact police or loved ones during emergencies. Below: Estefanía Santoscoy. Bottom: Hamilton (left) and Abdelaziz. Ray Hamilton and Rajia Abdelaziz have tripled their local startup, InvisaWear, over the last few months. But when the founders asked their intern, Mariel Blanco, to come on board as a full-time staff member, she told them she could not stay in Massachusetts. “I was really happy,” said Blanco, but she could not afford to live in the state. The Lowell-based startup offers jewelry that customers

How to live in Charlestown, Boston for $900 per month

Andrew Criscione took a wheeled office chair and placed it on one side of his bedroom. When he removed his hands from it, the chair rolled quickly toward the other side of the room and crashed into the windowsill outside of which the sun was setting over the picturesque Charlestown neighborhood in Boston. “The floor is on a slant,” he said with a laugh. “Why are people living in housing that’s 130 years old?” But a slanted floor is not the only problem with the building. Criscione also pointed to an outer wall on the lower level of the house that was bowed out from age and weather damage. He and his roommate also are concerned about mold or radon, but the landlord refused to have the house t

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