First ever IDP report details how private development has increased Boston's affordable housing stock
August 8, 2017
BOSTON - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today released the City of Boston's first ever report on the Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), the City's program to leverage private development to preserve access to affordable housing opportunities in all of Boston's neighborhoods. IDP requires that developers of buildings with ten or more units seeking zoning relief or building on City of Boston owned land set aside a percentage of their units as affordable to moderate- to middle-income households. Produced by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), the report is one of several new steps the BPDA is taking to track progress to guide inclusive growth in Boston.
- 1,737 on-site and off-site units, otherwise known as "IDP Units," have been created by the IDP since 2000, of which 229 (13 percent of the total) were completed during 2016. A substantial number of new IDP units are anticipated to be completed over the next few years. 746 units are under construction or have been permitted, and there are 656 units that are in projects that have been approved by the BPDA, but have not yet pulled a building permit.
- In addition to these on-site and off-site units, developers have contributed over $96 million to the IDP Fund, which, when combined with other affordable housing resources, has supported the completion of 1,070 additional units of housing, affordable to very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.
- Through the help of the IDP, paired with coordinated efforts by City agencies, income restricted units are being created in downtown neighborhoods. In the six years prior to the creation of IDP, while 35 percent of all new units created citywide were in central Boston, only 21 percent of income restricted units created were in the central Boston neighborhoods. This ratio was similar over the first 13 years of the program, but over the last three years, 43 percent of all new housing units, and 43 percent of all new income restricted units have been created in downtown neighborhoods. This outcome represents an important achievement in ongoing efforts to create income restricted/affordable housing in every neighborhood in the city, and to make sure that low-, moderate-, and middle-income households can live in neighborhoods close to transportation, services, and jobs.
- 47 percent of the units completed with IDP funds have a maximum income of 60 percent of AMI ($49,650 for a household of two), while 18 percent of the units have a maximum income of 30 percent of AMI ($24,800 for a household of two). The provision of units at this very low income helps to meet Mayor Walsh's goal of addressing homelessness, as many of these very low income units are tied to a preference for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
- Of the projects that have been completed since the creation of the IDP, 89 percent have units on-site, three percent have created units off-site, and 26 percent agreed to make a contribution to the IDP Fund in return for creating fewer or no units on-site. As some projects combined these options, these percentages will add up to more than 100 percent.
- While the federal government has been slowly walking away from a commitment to affordable housing, the City of Boston has stepped to the plate. IDP funds now account.