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At an affordable housing rally in Chinatown, Long Lin strode out in front, hauling a white bucket he played as a drum. “Keep tenants in their homes!” the 16-year-old chanted as he marched toward the Chinatown Gate with other protesters. “Keep tenants in their homes!”
Lin moved with his parents to Boston’s Chinatown six years ago from China. They settled in the immigrant-heavy neighborhood because “it felt like home,” he said, and because rent for their two-bedroom apartment was manageable.
Lin, whose parents speak little English, worries what would happen if they were forced to move. It’s a fear that looms large in Chinatown, where developers, capitalizing on proximity to downtown, are building luxury apartments, and residents are becoming casualties of increased property values and rents.