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Mayor Menino Announces $16 Billion Housing Plan

Sep 09, 2013

Goal to build 30,000 housing units to meet needs of a changing city Standing with members of his Housing Advisory Panel, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced a plan to build 30,000 units of housing in the City of Boston by the year 2020. Housing Boston 2020, the City’s new blueprint for housing strategy, represents a total plan for $16 billion of public and private investment that will create housing to meet the changing demographic needs of the city and its citizens.  An advisory panel and three working groups convened to advise Mayor Menino on the city’s new policy. [box] “Boston 2013 is thriving, and well positioned to meet its bright future,” Mayor Menino said. “But one thing has not changed: in order to fulfill its promise, we must stay focused on creating housing, because this is an issue that affects every Boston resident. We do not simply need to put roofs over peoples’ heads; we need to think carefully about the right kind of housing for our changing city. I want to thank the members of the Advisory Panel and the Working Groups who gave so much of their time and energy in helping us think through some very challenging issues.”[/box] Housing Boston 2020 will serve as a concrete action plan for the remaining days of the Menino administration, while serving as a blueprint for an incoming administration. Working with the Mayor’s Housing Advisory Panel, city staff and external thought leaders identified four main priorities for the City: accommodating growth; expansion of the middle class; affordable housing for Boston’s workforce; and college and university housing. Mayor Menino’s plan calls for:
  • The addition of 30,000 new units of housing in the decade of the 2010s. 25,000 of these will be private market rate units, requiring $10 billion in new investment in Boston;
  • The establishment of a 5,000-unit, $1.5 billion dollar middle class housing initiative to expand the supply of housing affordable to the middle class;
  • The creation of 5,000 new units of affordable, deed-restricted housing, while maintaining 97 percent occupancy rates and preserving 95 percent of expiring affordable housing, requiring $2 billion in governmental and private financing;
  • The investment of $1.5 billion to house 10,000 more full time students, including a new focus on housing graduate students.
From 2000 to 2010, Boston posted its greatest increase in its housing supply in 50 years, with the completion of the 20,000-unit, $6.1 billion Leading the Way plan. Of the new units created, 30 percent were affordable, and Boston now has a higher share of its housing stock in affordable housing than any other major city in America. Today, Boston still faces housing challenges – from shifting demographics to dwindling public resources.  The Advisory Panel and City staff identified five key areas where the City finds itself most challenged:
  • 23,000 very low income families are considered at risk of becoming homeless, while federal funding for affordable housing has been cut by 35 – 45 percent
  • 100,000 net new jobs are expected to be created in Boston by 2020.  Those jobs, combined with a rising preference of workers to live in the city, will likely generate demand for 28,800 new units.
  • Housing prices for the middle class are rising at double the rate that incomes are growing.
  • Boston’s nation-leading inventory of 52,000 units of affordable housing is increasingly at risk due to declining federal operating support for public housing, capital obsolescence, and expiring affordability restrictions
  • Boston’s colleges and universities still have more than 34,000 students living in off-campus housing in Boston, with demand highly concentrated in just a few areas.

Housing Boston 2020 Advisory Panel: Eric Belsky, Managing Director for Housing Studies, Harvard University Gail Latimore, Executive Director, Codman Square NDC Janelle Chan, Executive Director, Asian CDC Joe Kriesberg, President and CEO, MACDC Lisa B. Alberghini, President, POUA Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, NECU Michael Roberts, Vice President – Development, Avalon Bay Tamara Roy, Senior Associate Principal, ADD Inc. Thomas Callahan, Executive Director, MAHA Thomas R. Gleason, Executive Director, MassHousing   Housing Boston 2020 Working Groups: Curtis Kemeny, CEO and President , Boston Residential Group Ann Verrilli, Director of Research, CHAPA Bart Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, The Community Builders Brenda Clement, Executive Director, CHAPA Brian Doherty, Project Coordinator, Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council Clark Zeigler, Executive Director, Massachusetts Housing Partnership Doug Arsham, Development Manager, Forest City Ed Nardi, President, Cresset Group Joe Flatley, President and CEO, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation Joseph Shea, Senior Vice President/Operating Partner, Roseland Property Larry Curtis, Managing Partner, Winn Ling Yi Liu, Founder, Abodez Mark Curtiss, Managing Director , Massachusetts Housing Partnership Peter Munkenbeck Peter Sougarides, Executive Vice President of Development, Samuels & Associates Sue Connelly, Director of Community Housing Initiatives, Massachusetts Housing Partnership Young Park, President & Principal, Berkley Investments Matt Wally, Community Development Manager - Southern New England, TD Bank Rick High, President, Corcoran Group    

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