FY21 Housing Priorities
In his 2020 State of the City address, Mayor Walsh pledged to dedicate $500 million over the next five years to the City’s housing plan, creating thousands of homes across Boston affordable to households with low and middle incomes. The FY21 budget includes new operating and capital investments to support the City's goals of creating rental and homeownership opportunities, preserving public housing units, and establishing the first City-funded voucher program.
In addition, $2 million have been reallocated to address systemic problems related to racial disparities in housing and housing development. New initiatives include pilot homeownership programs for minority and immigrant homebuyers and outreach to support the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing plan.
Housing Boston 2030
Solving the City’s housing crisis is a shared endeavor that requires different types of investments and interventions. Investments in the FY21 budget are guided by the goals laid out in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, the Mayor's housing plan to address Boston's growing population.
In 2018, the City took an aggressive but necessary step to increase its target for new housing units that need to be created by 2030 from 53,000 to 69,000. Through the strategies outlined in the plan, 89% of the City’s target is completed, under construction, or in the City's development review and permitting pipeline. Over 20% of new units are set aside for low, moderate, and middle income households.
Progress Toward Housing 2030 Goals
Goal: 69,000 units built by 2030.
Supporting Home Ownership
The FY21 budget allocates new resources to further support homeownership.
The City will double existing resources for downpayment assistance for first-time homebuyers. In addition, the FY21 budget includes increased funding for the ONE Plus Boston Mortgage program, to provide more homebuyers with a discounted interest rate on their mortgage. These programs will work in tandem to make homeownership more affordable and accessible for families across the City.
Preserving Affordable Rental Opportunities
Supporting Boston’s renters is key to keeping the City strong and thriving.
In FY21, the City will create its first City-funded rental voucher program to subsidize the rents of those with most need. Over the next five years, the program will provide hundreds of vouchers, filling the financial gap many individuals and families face in Boston's housing market.
Additional FY21 investments to support renters include:
- Increased funding to help families preserve their tenancy or secure new housing
- An expansion of the successful Housing Court Navigator program, which will connect more people to resources and legal assistance
- New resources for preserving expiring-use, income-restricted units through extending affordability and rehabbing properties
- A $5 million investment in the FY21-25 capital budget to upgrade elderly/disabled public housing units, in partnership with the Boston Housing Authority
Advancing Structural Change
Infrastructure investments play an important role in housing development.
The FY21-25 capital budget includes a $5 million infrastructure fund to support the creation of affordable housing. In addition, through an investment in the FY21 operating budget, the City is addressing the resources gap for small, local minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) that develop affordable housing. These funds will provide MWBE developers with coaching and financial assistance during predevelopment and the construction process.