Why move to Randolph Part 2: Housing


The second most common motive for choosing Randolph among my interview sample was homeownership.  Roughly a quarter of interviewees said their families chose to live in Randolph because it provided the best homeownership value to them.  Value is defined as the quality obtained for the price paid.  Randolph’s housing stock includes homes that are affordable to first-time homebuyers while also being of decent size and condition with large enough lots and access to community facilities.  (check median home price against region).  Homeownership was also commonly mentioned in my interviews as a reason why people chose to remain in Randolph.

Less common in my interviews, but plain from data on Randolph’s housing stock and my own personal experience is that Randolph is also an accessible place for families needing affordable homes and apartments for rent.  Families looking for subsidized housing have much less choice than homebuyers about where to live.  They spend long times on multiple waiting lists for subsidized units.  However, Randolph’s subsidized units are a better alternative for many families than the older, poorer quality, less safe public housing units available in nearby cities.

The types of housing available in Randolph also make the community attractive to a variety of families.  In addition to the single-family home types and apartment complexes common in other suburbs, Randolph has a significant number of duplexes.  This housing style is attractive to large extended families who want to balance the benefits of suburban single-family housing with the benefits of sharing housing with family.  It is also attractive to people who wish to use the rental income from one half of the home to help pay the mortgage on the entire building.  Filmmaker Tze Chun prominently featured Randolph’s duplexes in two films, Windowbreaker and Children of Invention.  In a conversation with Chun, who himself grew up in a duplex in Randolph, the filmmaker described the aesthetic image of the blocks of duplexes as something uniquely Randolph that he wished to capture on film.


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