“Want to rent in Boston? Get a $50-an-hour job” – Katie Johnson (Boston Globe).
Boston rent has skyrocketed over the past several years leaving many Boston residents with little affordable housing options. The Boston Tenant Coalition is fighting to increase the resources we have in order to help address our housing crisis!
One of the tools we have to help Boston residents is the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP). This policy requires developers of new housing with 10 or more units to set aside a portion of their units as below-market affordable housing, or pay into a City affordable housing fund as a condition of receiving relief from the Boston Zoning Code.
But even with this important tool, we are not meeting the needs of Boston residents. As the market quickly changes, we too have to be swift with our response. We need to improve the IDP to adapt to these changes, and can better respond to our housing needs! With all of the luxury development going up across Boston it is urgent that we update this policy NOW!
The mayor of Boston has the power to strengthen this policy.
1. Higher percentage of affordable units: IDP affordable units should be no less than 25% of total on-site and off-site units produced directly from each IDP development, regardless of whether the affordable units are provided on-site or off-site by the developer or through developer payment in the IDP fund.
2. Larger buyout payments: Developers who choose not to provide affordable units themselves on-site or off-site should make payments into the IDP fund equal to the number of required affordable units times the per unit cost of developing an affordable unit in the neighborhood where the developer is proposing the market-rate development.
3. Deeper affordability: All IDP affordable units should be affordable to households with incomes below 150% of Boston Median Income (150% of BMI=80% of AMI), with the following targeting:
a) AT least 50% of affordable units should be affordable to households with incomes below 100% of BMI, which is approximately $52,000 (=55% of AMI);
b) No more than 50% of affordable units should be affordable to households with incomes between 100% and 150% of BMI, which is approximately $52,000-$75,000 (=55% to 80% of AMI); on average, these units should be affordable to households with incomes of 125% of BMI (~$63,000)
c) Deeper affordability should be achieved to the greatest extent possible through the use of Section 8 and MRVP vouchers and other subsidies.
4. Other Components:
a) Apply 25% affordable requirement to substantial rehab developments seeking zoning or tax relief;
b) Fully comply with affirmatively furthering Fair Housing;
c) Maintain Detailed, publicly-available records.
If you agree with our asks please sign our petition! We need to act now and help create more desperately needed homes!