Housing Innovation Lab
Boston is an incredible place to live — more and more people are coming to our City — and our projections tell us that we will reach over 700,000 people by 2030. However, this increased demand is leading to increased housing costs, which are in turn leading to rising displacement and evictions in our City. We want to ensure that the Boston of tomorrow doesn’t displace the Boston of today!
In 2014, with the release of Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030, Mayor Martin J. Walsh called for the creation of a Housing Innovation Lab (iLab). Mayor Walsh recognized a need for exploration and acceleration in the housing field to help the City address its growing housing needs. In 2015, with start up funding from a Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team Grant the iLab was established and in 2017, the city committed funding to ensure the continuation of this work.
BOSTON, MA 02108-2501
We’re expecting Boston’s population to number more than 700,000 residents by 2030.
“We must manage this growth to ensure that a bigger Boston is also a better Boston. We must plan for this growth, carefully balancing needed increases in density with open space and other amenities to ensure that quality of life in our neighborhoods remains high. Most importantly, we must ensure that this growth creates opportunities for people at all income levels.” — Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030
- Prioritizes people - put people at the center of our work.
- Engages collaborators - engage both internal and external partners to move the work forward.
- Experiments early and often - take a prototype driven approach to policy making.
A new type of residential development that uses well-designed efficient space, shared common spaces, and transportation incentives.
Plugin Housing Initiative
Demonstrating the possibilities of backyard homes and smaller living to provide housing affordable to all.
Housing with Public Assets
Could building housing on top of — or next to — City buildings, such as libraries and community centers, benefit our communities?
Intergenerational Homeshare Pilot
We’re offering affordable housing to graduate students while helping local homeowners and communities.
Additional Dwelling Unit Pilot
We want to streamline the process for homeowners looking to create a rental unit.
Urban Housing Unit Roadshow
Through our interactive exhibit, we heard from the community about what they think about smaller living.
Housing Innovation Competition
We asked development teams to propose innovative compact living designs.
Density Bonus Pilot
The program gives developers incentives in exchange for more affordable units.
Clearing up the homebuying process
We developed applications and information to better support first-time buyers through the complex process.
News and announcements
Concepts sought for co-developing City assets with housing, other mixed uses
Mayor Walsh appointed Housing Chair for United States Conference of Mayors
Our Fellowship Program
The Housing Innovation Fellowship is an immersion into the Housing Innovation Lab’s methodology.
Fellows help us explore, experiment, and expand new systems and models that can increase housing affordability in Boston.