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Mayor Walsh Announces Additional 1,200 Dorm Beds For Boston's College And University Students

October 29, 2015

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

City of Boston Sets 15 Year Record for Housing Completions

BOSTON - Thursday, October 29, 2015 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston has set a 15 year record for housing completions, with a total of 3,292 net units in 2015, representing $1.4 billion in value. The prior record was 3,257 units, set in 2006.

While celebrating the groundbreaking of a new 380 bed student housing facility at Emerson College, the Mayor announced that nearly 1,200 dorm beds have been permitted to date in 2015. The data comes from the City's quarterly housing report which noted that with the permitting of the 252-bed New England Conservatory Student Life and Performance Center this quarter, Boston's has achieved its highest level of dorm production since 2007.

"In order to strengthen our City and our workforce, we must meet the goals of our ambitious housing plan," said Mayor Walsh. "I appreciate the efforts of our development community and our colleges and universities in helping us meet these challenges and we will continue working to create and maintain housing that keeps up with our City's growth."  
The Walsh administration housing plan calls for quarterly reports on progress. The City's Quarter 3 report includes:

  • With the completion of The Lancaster in Brighton, Boston has seen a total of 3,292 net units come on line in 2015.  Together, these units represent $1.4 billion in value.  The prior record was 3,257 units, set in 2006.  
  • Boston is developing housing at 122 percent of the pace needed to create 53,000 new units of housing by 2030, as called for in the Boston 2030 housing plan.
  • With the permitting of a total of 1,090 new units this quarter, 28,880 of the plan's requisite 53,000 units are now underway.  Boston's housing stock is growing at a faster pace than at any time over the last 15 years.  
  • The production of affordable housing is tracking ahead of schedule as well: since the inception of the plan, 1,243 units have been started, which is 109 percent of the pace needed to create 6,500 new units by 2030.  39 low income units were permitted this quarter.
  • Significant projects permitted this quarter included Lovejoy Wharf, a 170-unit downtown condo development; 105A South Huntington Avenue, a 195-unit rental development in Mission  Hill; and 75 Amory Avenue, a 39-unit affordable rental development in Roxbury.

As outlined in Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, creating safe, sanitary and affordable student housing is a priority of the Walsh administration.  The plan outlines a goal of creating 16,000 new undergraduate and 2,500 graduate dorm beds, which the City estimates will result in 5,000 units of former workforce housing being released back into the middle-income housing market. With today's numbers, the City is now tracking at 83 percent of the pace to achieve this goal -- an improvement of more than 20 percent from the beginning of 2015.  Currently, the city has a pipeline of 4,986 beds and the total net production is 9,169. This leaves 9,331 additional beds to be created by 2030.

In addition to seeing record numbers of dorm beds permitted this year, the City's Department of Neighborhood Development and the Boston Redevelopment Authority have also wrapped up meetings with all of the city's colleges and universities to discuss strategies for adding additional student housing. These meetings were followed up by a letter asking schools to formalize their timelines and plans for new dorm beds, and to formalize schools' commitments to implementing the City's proposed policy that all first-year and sophomore students be housed on campus.  The City is currently analyzing the responses to this letter, which will be shared in an upcoming Student Housing Trends report.

For the first time under the Walsh Administration, the City has been able to collect significant, meaningful data on students living off-campus, in order to better understand and reduce the pressure on Boston's local housing market generated by the city's large number of off-campus students.