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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUNDING ROUND

MAYOR WALSH ANNOUNCES NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING FUNDING ROUND
Includes first large scale CPA awards and $16 million in other funding that support the City's housing goals

BOSTON -  Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for affordable housing projects seeking City of Boston financial support. This affordable housing funding round will include over $16 million in city affordable housing funds, and in addition, will include the first large scale awards of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for affordable housing development projects.

While the exact amount of CPA funding for housing will be determined by the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), total awards from all sources in this funding round will likely exceed $25 million, making it one of the largest affordable housing funding rounds in City of Boston history.

"Addressing rising housing costs is critical for preserving the diversity and character that makes Boston a place where all residents can thrive," said Mayor Walsh. "Voters in Boston made their support for affordable housing creation clear when they passed the Community Preservation Act in 2016. My administration has put affordability at the top of our agenda, establishing a comprehensive plan, and committing more than $115 million to housing. With these new funds in this funding round, we will further accelerate our work to lift up every neighborhood and provide all residents and their families with accessible and affordable housing options."

Based on the goals outlined in Mayor Walsh's housing strategy Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030 and the Imagine Boston 2030 Planning Process, the City of Boston has established priority criteria which proposals must meet, including:
  • Affordable housing developments targeting a mix of incomes: from units for homeless households to units targeted and restricted to incomes representative of Boston's workforce;
  • Affordable housing developments that serve the disabled community, vulnerable or special needs populations, older Bostonians, veterans, artists, and/or aging out youth;
  • Acquisition of unrestricted housing developments in order to stabilize residents' tenancies, and provide long term affordability for a mix of incomes; or
  • Affordable housing developments that utilize City-owned land;
  • Affordable housing developments that have reduced the cost to build and use public funding most efficiently;
  • Developments that are at risk of losing their affordability within five years.
  • Projects creating new affordable units in high-cost neighborhoods where most of the IDP and NHT funds are generated.
Funds will be awarded from three sources: the first, of approximately $8 million, consists of funds administered by the Department of Neighborhood Development, including funds from the Federal HOME Investment Partnerships and Community Development Block Grant programs, the City's Housing Boston 2030 Fund, and the Inclusionary Development Policy Fund. Up to $3 million of this funding is earmarked to support housing that serves households 55 years or older. The second source utilizes funds from the Neighborhood Housing Trust (NHT). NHT disburses funds collected through the City's Linkage policy, which extracts affordable housing funds from developers of large commercial projects. The third source is CPA funds, which are collected through the one percent property tax surcharge approved by Boston voters in 2016 to help strengthen Boston neighborhoods through strategic investment in affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space. The addition of CPA funds to this funding package aligns the City's housing resources towards full implementation of Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 plan. Applications are currently available for the next round of CPA funds.

About Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030

By the year 2030, Boston will reach more than 700,000 residents, a number the City has not seen since the 1950s. Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030 is Mayor Walsh's Administration's comprehensive housing plan to create 53,000 new units of housing for a variety of income levels. Since the policy was enacted in 2014, Boston has permitted more than 27,000 units of housing, completing nearly 18,000 of them as of the end of the second quarter in 2018. More than 11,000 of those permitted units are income-restricted, and more than 2,000 of these are reserved for Bostonians earning low and extremely low wages.

Although these results show strong progress toward the goals established by the Mayor's Advisory Housing Task Force, Boston's population is increasing more rapidly than the population models used in to establish plan targets had estimated. Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030 was created not as a static policy piece to be enacted, but as a living document meant to be reassessed and reframed as necessary. In the Spring of 2018, Mayor Walsh reconvened the Housing Task Force to assess progress and reevaluate the goals of the policy through this new population filter. Other factors under consideration include the Mayors Regional Housing Compact Policy and the effects on Boston and its neighbors, as well as the evaluation of lessons learned over the past four years. An update to Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030 is expected in the fall of 2018.

About Imagine Boston 2030

Imagine Boston 2030 is building on Housing a Changing City by identifying areas where continued growth can occur and where additional growth beyond the 53,000-unit target can take place. This growth will create a release valve for existing neighborhoods that are seeing pressure on housing prices. Other initiatives include: working to increase the overall housing supply, deploying tools to support the preservation of affordable housing citywide, putting forth an anti-displacement package that will create and preserve affordable housing, and preventing eviction, link housing and transportation and supporting home ownership. For more information included in the plan, please visit imagine.boston.gov.

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