January 2022: Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing
Throughout the year, MOH supported Bostonians impacted by the pandemic and focused on helping to ensure an equitable recovery, while continuing our core work. MOH’s core work includes: creating and preserving income-restricted housing; housing our unhoused neighbors; assisting Bostonians in buying, repairing, and preventing foreclosure of their homes; helping renters with rental assistance to remain stably housed or helping them find new affordable housing; and developing and enacting new policies and programs to further help residents achieve their goals of stable housing and homeownership.
2021 was a strong year of achievement in housing production in the city of Boston. It was the best year on record for new development for housing targeted to low-income Bostonians earning less than 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), seniors, and the formerly homeless.
In 2021, MOH announced its largest ever supportive housing project in the rehabilitation of 140 Clarendon Street. When the renovation, by developer Beacon Communities, is complete, the development will create 210 income-restricted apartments, 111 of which are reserved for individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness and will include supportive services from Pine Street Inn. The remaining 99 apartments will be restricted to residents with incomes at or below 30%, 50%, or 60% of AMI.
That announcement was just one of the significant projects that began or completed in December 2021. Other December 2021 highlights include:
- More than 1,000 new units were permitted. 377 of those units, or 38 percent, were income-restricted units.
- Another 406 units were completed: 113 were income-restricted.
These totals supplemented the already strong numbers from earlier in the year, which include:
- 1,080 new units of income-restricted housing were permitted in 2021, a record 32 percent of the total of 3,404 new housing permits.
- 4,051 units of housing completed, and 767 (19%) are income-restricted;
- 6,543 units or 21 percent of the 30,608 new housing units in the active pipeline are income-restricted.
In 2021, the Supportive Housing Division continued the challenging work of housing our unhoused neighbors. Overall, 2,452 people in 1,759 households were housed. This includes more than 1,200 single individuals, 178 veterans, and 110 people who had been living on Boston’s streets.
In 2021, 775 individuals from almost 700 households were housed through the rapid rehousing program that provides short-term support for people experiencing homelessness, often in the form of rental assistance. Other supports are also provided to ensure that this housing stabilization is maintained.
MOH also launched new programs and established new partnerships to best serve justice system-involved or gang-involved youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. A rapid rehousing program was created in partnership with the Justice Resource Institute to connect young people with housing and supportive services. Throughout the year, JRI and MOH helped 140 youth and young adults exit homelessness, and offered 109 more youth a youth dedicated housing opportunity.
MOH partnered with Recovery Services, the Boston Housing Authority, and many of our partner service provider organizations on a Street to Home initiative to coordinate street outreach assessment, engagement, referral, and placement of unsheltered clients into rapid, low-threshold transitional, and permanent supportive housing. This initiative housed 110 individuals with another 100 in interim placements or matched to a housing resource.
The Supportive Housing Division also re-launched the Coordinated Entry System and new assessment tools for assisting people in exiting homelessness. The Continuum of Care assessed more than 700 clients, and nearly 250 of them were referred for Emergency Housing Vouchers.
In 2021, the Office of Housing Stability (OHS) assisted more than 4,852 households with the following services: rental relief funding, eviction prevention, homelessness prevention, housing counseling, emergency fire assistance, and landlord/tenant assistance.
This support averted 1,354 evictions and prevented potential homelessness, placed 319 households into temporary housing, and 237 households into permanent housing. In 2021, OHS assisted 203 households who were displaced due to a fire.
In addition to households served through these programs, OHS provided rental and utility assistance to more than 2,500 households, hosted weekly legal clinics for over 1,000 constituents since launching the clinics in February 2021, and launched new financial resource programs in response to emerging needs.
2021 saw the Boston Home Center’s (BHC) foreclosure prevention numbers rise to near-record levels after the end of the federal eviction and foreclosure moratorium established in 2020. Through intensive mitigation and prevention work, the BHC was able to help 200 homeowners keep their homes, preserving $70 million in real estate. Eighty-four percent of all households assisted with these services were headed by persons of color. Only seven owner-occupant homes were foreclosed upon in Boston in 2021, a new record low.
2021 also brought an expansion of the ONE+ Mortgage product and a new infusion of Community Preservation Act resources. These new resources enabled the Boston Home Center to more than double the number of homebuyers assisted in 2021, resulting in an all-time record of 176 Bostonians becoming first-time homebuyers.
In addition, homeowners continue to participate in the Accessory Dwelling Unit Initiative with 30 new ADUs permitted in 2021 and another 59 in the permitting pipeline.
MOH is Hiring for Multiple Positions
MOH is looking for dedicated individuals who want to join us in our work to make Boston a better, more equitable city. We’re looking for leaders in the housing field, as well as professionals who are passionate about public service.
Take a look below to see what’s available — and forward these job descriptions to people in your circle who should be applying.
Deputy Director for Homeownership Programs, Boston Home Center
The Deputy Director for Homeownership Programs is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Boston Home Center's Homeownership Programs. Learn more and apply.
Deputy Director, Office of Housing Stability
The Deputy Director is responsible for operating the Office of Housing Stability. Learn more and apply.
Associate Deputy Director, Supportive Housing
The Associate Director is responsible for overall leadership, supervision and project management associated with policy and strategic plans to support the mission of equitably ending homelessness in Boston. This is a senior leadership role that will supervise and manage staff, consultants, and contractors that lead system change, implementation, and efforts related to policy and strategic plans. Learn more and apply.
Assistant Director, Supportive Housing
The Assistant Director is responsible for overall leadership, supervision and project management associated with funding, data and performance to support the mission of equitably ending homelessness in Boston. This is a senior leadership role that will supervise and manage staff, consultants, and contractors, including but not limited to the team responsible for collecting and reporting on all homeless data through the Homeless Management Information Systems in Boston and the unit that manages the Division’s housing and services contracts. Learn more and apply.
Assistant Director, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Assistant Director is responsible for a variety of housing development programs and projects. Learn more and apply.
Senior Housing Development Officer, Supportive Housing
This new Senior Housing Development Officer to End Family Homelessness role will work in close partnership with the Office of Housing Stability, as well as staff the Special Commission on Ending Family Homelessness. Learn more and apply.
Housing Development Officer, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Housing Development Officer is responsible for all appropriate project and program management activities for assigned housing development projects and initiatives. Learn more and apply.
Construction Specialist II, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Construction Specialist II is responsible for all construction management and oversight activities and assistance for development projects and programs, including but not limited to 1-3 family rehabs, adaptive re-use developments, renovations of existing rental developments and new construction, wood frame, masonry and steel mid-rise and high rise construction. Learn more and apply.
Special Assistant to the Director
The Special Assistant provides administrative services to the chief of housing and other members of the director’s office by performing work of a highly confidential and complex nature. Learn more and apply.