Along with Mayor Walsh’s induction to the City is also the induction of his changes to the current City plans. Boston’s housing plan is being discussed and drafted everyday with the Mayor and the housing task force and is due to be finished by this month of July. We are running an action to help influence the mayor’s housing plan and make changes to the current Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP).

IDP Post Card content:

“As we address the current housing crisis, a few simple changes to the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) would increase crucial housing resources.  The IDP program is currently completely under the control of Mayor Walsh, and so should be easy to change. These changes would target housing resources to those living at and below the true Boston Median Income of $54,000 (calculated per year for a family of four).”

 We call for the following changes to the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP):

  • Increase percentage of affordable units required in new developments to 25%
  • Affordability should include a range of incomes averaging to 60%-65% of the area median income (AMI) for rental units. The City should also deepen the affordability of IDP units by coordinating with housing agencies to pair IDP units with Section 8 vouchers. 
  • Increase buyout fee to reflect the cost of developing an affordable unit (which may differ by different neighborhoods), and index to the cost of inflation.
  • Use funds generated by buyout fees both to create new affordable units and to preserve existing affordable units: 25% of affordable units should be deed restricted as permanently affordable at neighborhood median income when a building undergoes renovation or requests any zoning change, or in exchange for property tax abatement.
  • Inclusionary transferring: Projects that already have affordable units should be kept affordable even if the development changes hands.
  • A meaningful portion of the funds generated by the IDP from developments must be earmarked for the neighborhoods where the development is occurring.

Background Information: What are we fighting for and why is it so important?

 

Boston housing prices have increased greatly over the years and Boston is now facing what we call a “housing crisis.” Currently 35,000 renters have housing costs exceeding 50% of their household income. 92% of these rent-burdened households are very low-income (<50% AMI). Our proposed changes would help direct a larger share of IDP resources to these households with worst case housing needs. (Source: Boston draft Consolidated Plan 2013-2018)

 

Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) – directs housing developers to set aside a certain percentage of their new units as affordable. In some cases, instead of building the units on site, the developer has the option to build the units off-site or pay into a fund for affordable housing.

 

We are asking the Mayor and his top advisors to make several changes to the IDP that will aid the struggling Boston residents and their needs. Some of the changes include, increasing the percentage of units set-aside as affordable per development to 25%, requesting that the units include a range of affordability levels, and to increase the buy-out fee, for developers opting into this option, to reflect the true cost of developing an affordable unit.

 

Unfortunately, even with the current IDP, little money has come back to some of the most impacted neighborhoods and we are requesting that a meaningful portion of the funds generated by the IDP be earmarked for the neighborhoods where the development is occurring which will allow more affordable housing to be built in these neighborhoods.

 

The Mayor’s housing team is completing its housing plan right now and suggesting these changes at this time is crucial.  We are looking to amend the IDP to help create more affordable housing, save and preserve current affordable units and create a better living environment for all of Boston residents. Your signatures will help to send a message to our Boston city officials!

 

Please sign our online IDP Post Card to support our action!