The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved real estate agency Millennium Partners Boston to turn Winthrop Square Garage into an office and condo tower last year. Part of the deal required Millennium Boston to pay for 1110,000 square feet of affordable housing. Instead of writing the BPDA a check, Millennium Partners Boston has partnered with Asian Community Development Corporation to build 168 affordable housing units in Chinatown.

Boston Globe business columnist Shirley Leung joined Boston Public Radio on Thursday to speak about this partnership and why more developers need to follow the example set by Millennium Partners Boston.

"Instead of writing a check, Millennium Partners decided they're taking a more active role," she said. "But Angie Liou from the Asian Community Development Corporation was saying that for every hundred units there's usually 4,000 applications for affordable housing."

This high demand will hopefully prompt other real estate agencies to develop affordable housing, Leung said.

"Millennium Partners developers are saying the partnership is so exciting, but then Angie pointed out there are 3900 people that won't be getting a unit," she said. "That's how big the problem is, so hopefully more developers will come to the table and be more involved in building affordable housing."

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Angie Liou's surname.