The High Price for Cheap Rent

On a nearby street, a line of ugly, cheaply built, 1980s-vintage row houses stand on a plot of land where there was once a neglected old Victorian. The six houses share a communal front “yard” — a quarter-acre concrete pad that gives the place all the charm of a New Jersey strip mall. To complete that grim visual, cars are illegally parked on it, usually double wide, often obstructing the sidewalk. In fact, there are more cars than one would expect from six single-family homes. A couple of months ago, I deduced why that was when I saw a small …

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