Boston’s Quarterly Report shows forward progress on many goals
Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s ambitious housing plan is starting to become a reality, according to the first quarterly report released by the city. The report, released as part of an increase of transparency into housing policy, boasts strong showings on many of the goals set by Mayor Walsh.
The city saw a total of 13,017 housing units permitted by March 31, 2015, above the target of 10,200. Forty-six percent of new housing starts were projected to be affordable to households with an income between $50,000 and $100,000, up from 26 percent in 2014. Seventy-five percent of new housing starts were within a five- minute walk of major public transit, in an effort to make Boston more environmentally friendly. The city also made $20 million available for affordable housing, and 194 new low-income units were permitted.
Not everything in the report is good news. The city’s goal of reducing the amount of full-time students living off campus through the creation of new beds (a key component of the plan), is below expectations at 1,983 new units completed, versus a goal of 3,400. Low-income senior housing also fell below their target with only 284 low-income senior housing units approved versus 319, and seven market-rate units versus a goal of 774.
Affordability in the Boston home market has been a constant problem. Since 2013, the median price for single family homes is up 17.3% and affordability has dropped 18.3%. Mayor Walsh has announced nearly $39 million being used to combat the dropping affordability.