Marty believes Boston is for everyone, so he’s committed to making sure that anyone who wants to live in Boston can stay in Boston. As mayor, he has spent the last 3 ½ years battling a historic housing shortage, with an unprecedented plan to create 53,000 new homes by 2030, and by using every tool at his disposal to create affordable housing. He has demanded more from developers. He has put city land and city resources toward affordable housing. And he has joined with nonprofit developers and housing advocates to create thousands of new affordable homes. Under Mayor Walsh’s leadership, rents in Boston’s older housing stock have begun to stabilize, and more people are able to find homes.
But the fact remains, Boston is a city with high housing costs, and achieving affordability is one of Boston’s greatest challenges. The rapid growth of our economy and population have placed tremendous strain on rents and home prices. Recognizing that this problem had the potential to displace many families who have called Boston home for generations, one of the first things Mayor Walsh did upon taking office was convene a task force of over 40 community leaders to author a comprehensive housing strategy for the City. Now three years into the plan, we’re seeing evidence that housing affordability for low, moderate, and middle-income Bostonians is beginning to improve. But Mayor Walsh also knows that many families still face a housing crisis today. That’s why he founded the City’s first Office of Housing Stability to provide access to emergency assistance for renters in crisis. He also led the fight for the Community Preservation Act, a new law that will bring millions of dollars more annually to affordable housing, historic preservation, open spaces, and public recreation. Marty will never stop fighting to make Boston a home for everyone.
- A Housing Plan that’s working. Since launching Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 his first year in office, 22,000 new homes have been built or are in construction. As a result of this growth, rents in the older housing stock have begun to stabilize.
- Requiring more from developers. Mayor Walsh upgraded the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), requiring developers to build and fund more homes for low and moderate income households. Since 2014, Mayor Walsh’s IDP has collected $56.6 million from developers and created 2,124 new affordable homes.
- Building affordable housing. Under Mayor Walsh’s leadership the City has directed over $100 million to fund deed-restricted affordable housing.
- Successfully called on colleges to build more dorms. Student housing leaves more neighborhood homes open to working families. So far, 5,664 new dorm beds are completed or in construction, exceeding plan targets.
- Helping tenants stay in their homes and protect their rights. Mayor Walsh launched the Office of Housing Stability and filed the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act, that will inform tenants of their rights and help provide data to shape future policy. Learn more, here.
- Turning city-owned land into affordable homes. The Mayor’s Neighborhood Homes Initiative is turning hundreds of vacant, city-owned lots into affordable homes.
- Modernizing planning and development. Under Mayor Walsh the BRA has transformed into the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), focusing on smart planning, transparent management, and community process.
- Prioritizing community planning in high-demand neighborhoods. Community driven strategic planning processes are turning former industrial sites into mixed-income, transit-oriented housing along the Red Line in South Boston and Dorchester and the Orange Line in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.
- Leading the campaign to pass the Community Preservation Act in Boston. The CPA is now being implemented, bringing millions of dollars for affordable housing, open space, and historic preservation.
- Getting additional resources to support public housing. The Mayor’s team secured a $30 million federal grant to rebuild the Whittier Street development in Roxbury and committed $35 million from the proceeds of the Winthrop Square Garage to renovate and expand public housing in East Boston and South Boston.
- Helping senior citizens retain and find homes. Mayor Walsh has overseen the creation of nearly 300 new units of low-income senior housing. In addition, he created a new $1.75 million line item in the City’s budget to offset federal cuts and produce more homes. Finally, through home renovation and foreclosure prevention, the Mayor has helped more than 500 seniors retain their homes.
- Supporting residents with disabilities. Released a comprehensive action plan to create more homes for non-elderly disabled residents and to make the process of securing a home easier.
- Expanding first-time homeownership and home repair programs, helping hundreds of people every year to buy, fix, and keep their homes.
- Created the Nation’s first Housing Innovation Lab. This team has worked with communities to create neighborhood-friendly designs for smaller living spaces, establish new tools that require significantly more affordable units in higher density buildings, supported the expansion of community land trusts in Boston, and more.
- More information for renters about the condition of prospective homes. Launched RentSmart, an online data tool that provides renters detailed information about available properties. Learn more, here.
- Keep fighting to meet and surpass the Housing Plan’s ambitious goals for total new homes, middle-class homes, low-income homes, senior housing, and housing for the disabled.
- Increase homeownership opportunities for Boston’s middle class by evaluating and improving existing homeownership programs and mortgage products.
- Build more affordable homes while investing in quality of life. Mayor Walsh recently appointed a longtime community advocate to oversee implementation of the Community Preservation Act. This new revenue source will direct tens of millions of dollars annually to build new affordable homes, expand neighborhood parks and playgrounds, and preserve historic neighborhood buildings.
- Upgrade and expand public housing. Marty is working with the Boston Housing Authority on redevelopment strategies for Boston’s oldest and largest public housing developments that will preserve or increase total subsidized units while upgrading housing quality and neighborhood vitality.
- Implement Imagine Boston 2030. The Mayor’s citywide plan calls for mixed-income, transit-oriented housing at large, underutilized sites including Suffolk Downs, Sullivan Square, Beacon Yards, Newmarket/Widett Circle, and Readville.
- Explore further innovations in housing. Studies underway include community land trusts, cooperatively owned homes, accessory dwelling units, and systems for matching senior homeowners with appropriate tenants.
- Explore development of affordable living/working spaces for artists.
- Fight side-by-side with housing advocates, communities, and elected officials to maintain and expand federal housing investments.