Boston is going through a period of historic growth— the kind our city hasn’t seen in decades. More people are choosing to put down roots and start families here. More businesses are choosing to open their doors here. Students from all over the world come to attend our universities and colleges each year. As Boston grows, we must keep our focus on the families and communities that make our our city the diverse, welcoming and world-class place it is. To do that, residents must be able to afford to live here in the city they love, families must be able to grow, and young people must be able to make our city their home.
To achieve that, we’re working hard to increase Boston’s affordable housing stock — that includes building housing across a range of incomes, and focusing on ensuring there are income-restricted homes being built throughout Boston.
Just last month, we increased our overall housing goals from creating 53,000 units to 69,000 units by 2030 to meet Boston’s growing population and increase the number of housing opportunities available to residents. These new housing goals, which were first set in 2014 through our housing plan, build on our commitment to increasing access to home ownership, preventing displacement and promoting fair and equitable housing access.
As we build more housing in Boston to relieve housing pressure, our regional partners are also working to ensure their cities and towns keep up with the demand for affordable housing. Boston can’t do this alone — and that’s why I’m proud earlier this month, I joined leaders from 14 surrounding communities who are part of the Metro Mayors Coalition to announce a new regional housing production goal for coalition cities and towns to meet the demands of a robust regional economy and a growing population in Boston and surrounding areas. Together, the 15 members of the Metro Mayors Coalition announced a target to create 185,000 new units of housing across the region by the year 2030.
We are at a pivotal time in Greater Boston as our economy continues to grow and thrive, and more people move to our communities. I know housing is the number one concern for so many families in Boston, and addressing it is my top priority. Of the 69,000 new units that will be created by 2030, 15,820 of them will be income restricted. By 2030, the total number of income-restricted housing units in Boston will be nearly 70,000. We are also committed to acquiring 1,000 market-rate rental units from the housing market and making them income restricted units.
If you think finding affordable housing, or becoming a homeowner, isn’t a reality for you — explore the resources the City of Boston offers. Take a home buying class. Apply for an affordable home buying opportunity. Apply for an income-restricted apartment. All our resources are available at https://www.boston.gov/departments/neighborhood-development, and we’ll continue to work hard to make sure all families who want to live in Boston are able to.
Martin J. Walsh is the mayor of Boston.