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News & Updates

Mayor Walsh releases 2018 IDP report

Mar 26, 2019

Over 20 percent of Boston's total IDP inventory completed in 2018

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) today released the 2018 Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) Annual Report, detailing how Boston is leveraging the strong development market to create and preserve affordable housing opportunities in every neighborhood.  In 2018, 546 new IDP units were completed, representing 21 percent of all IDP units in Boston.

"In order to maintain a strong middle class and be a thriving, diverse city, we must continue to create and preserve housing for individuals and families at a range of income-levels," said Mayor Walsh. "The Inclusionary Development Policy is one of our many tools for creating moderate and middle-income housing, and our latest report is a testament to its impact across Boston's neighborhoods."

IDP requires that developers of buildings with 10 or more units seeking zoning relief or building on City of Boston owned land set aside a percentage of their units as income-restricted to moderate- to middle-income households.

Since the inception of IDP in 2000, the policy has resulted in 2,599 units of stable, income-restricted housing for moderate- and middle-income families, and $137.1 million in funding. When combined with other affordable housing resources, this funding has supported the completion or preservation of 1,414 additional units of housing, affordable to very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.

In his 2019 legislative package, Mayor Walsh is proposing strengthening the Inclusionary Development Policy as a strategy to capture affordable housing units and funding from projects which are zoning compliant, expanding the work that Boston has done to address the region's affordable housing crisis. The other housing bills proposed seek to help existing tenants, particularly older adults, remain in their homes.

Notably, 2018 saw the completion of the 239-unit Beverly, the first fully affordable and workforce housing development in 25 years, located near North Station. All of the units in the Beverly are income-restricted, ranging from 30 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), up to 165 percent of AMI. The project was funded in part with off-site contributions Related Beal was able to secure from the Hub on Causeway project and by a voluntary contribution from its own Lovejoy Wharf project.

"Boston benefits from diversity in housing that provides options to the families, talent and companies that make our city great," said Kimberly Sherman Stamler, President of Related Beal. "We are proud of our partnership with the City and government partners on The Beverly in a shared effort to achieve the Mayor's workforce and affordable housing goals. The thousands of housing units created under the IDP are a testament to the vision and leadership of the Mayor and the many city agencies that work to achieve these shared goals."

Of the total IDP housing stock, 16 percent of units are located in Downtown, 13 percent are located on the South Boston Waterfront, 11 percent are located in the South End, and nine percent are located in South Boston.  

"Inclusionary Development Policy funds from projects on the South Boston Waterfront have been instrumental in leveraging both public and private resources to develop and preserve affordable housing in the South Boston neighborhood," said Donna Brown, Executive Director of the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC). "South Boston NDC has been able to utilize IDP funds to build new affordable housing for Veterans, the workforce and for the elderly.  We recently used IDP to purchase private, occupied rental housing and preserve it for low and moderate income residents. IDP is critically important to ensuring that Boston remains an economically diverse city."

According to data compiled for the 2018 report, of all on-site and off-site IDP Units created by private developers, 25 percent are homeownership units, and 75 percent are rental units. In addition, a substantial number of new IDP units are anticipated to be completed over the next few years: 834 units are under construction or have been permitted, and there are 1,285 units in projects that have been approved by the BPDA, but have not yet pulled a building permit.

When the policy was introduced in 2000, few cities had a similar policy. Today, Boston is often highlighted for the success of its program, and towns and cities across the country are using inclusionary development programs to meet affordable housing needs. 2018 marks the third year the BPDA has released the annual IDP report, as one of several new steps the agency is taking to track progress to guide inclusive growth in Boston.

The report builds on Mayor Walsh's commitment to preserving and expanding Boston's affordable housing, ensuring all families who wish to live in Boston can. Currently, one in five housing units in Boston is income restricted to people with none to moderate incomes. Boston has secured funding to build affordable housing by utilizing a range of tools, including leveraging market-rate development, collecting linkage and Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) payments from real estate developers, and by supporting passage of the Community Preservation Act (CPA).

Last month, Mayor Walsh and the City's Community Preservation Committee (CPC) this week recommended 56 projects, totaling more than $34 million, for inclusion in the fall funding round for the Community Preservation Act (CPA). In 2018, Mayor Walsh increased the City's overall housing targets from 53,000 to 69,000 new units by 2030, including 15,820 income-restricted units, to meet Boston's population growth. These income-restricted units will include purchasing 1,000 rental housing units from the speculative market and income-restricting them through an expanded Acquisition Opportunity Program.

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