Mayor Walsh Makes $20 Million Available
December 18, 2014
Fulfilling a pledge to make more funding available for affordable housing, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City is making $20 million of funding available through a competitive process to to spur the creation of affordable housing. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) were made available today by the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), outlining criteria for potential developments and the process by which developments will be selected to receive funding.
“This is the first round of funding being made available that will help us fulfill the goals outlined in our new housing policy,” Mayor Walsh said. “We are going to use these funds in a strategic, responsible way, supporting the development of housing that’s affordable, attractive, and efficient. This is a major first step toward ensuring that everyone who wants to make Boston better can access housing they can afford.”
The two separate RFPs are valued at $10 million each, and outline a set of priorities for developments that align with the strategic goals of Boston2030, the Walsh Administration’s housing plan. These priorities include:
Projects that can be built efficiently, with reduced costs;
Projects that can move quickly into construction;
Housing developments targeting a mix of incomes; from units for homeless households to units restricted to incomes representative of Boston's workforce;
The creation of housing to serve the disabled community, vulnerable or special needs populations, elders, veterans, artists, and aging-out youth;
The acquisition of unrestricted housing developments in order to stabilize the tenancies and provide long term affordability for a mix of incomes; large projects with more than 50 units of housing of which at least 51% will be deed-restricted affordable units; and
Projects creating new affordable units in high-cost neighborhoods where most IDP funds are generated.
For the first time, DND will oversee the awarding of funds drawn from the Inclusionary Development Fund (IDF), which previously had been under the purview of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Monies in the IDF enter the Fund when developers of residential properties of more than ten units choose to fulfill their affordable housing obligation to the city by cashing out, rather than building affordable units on-site. Today’s RFPs mark the first time that all City funds for affordable housing are entirely centralized in one agency.
In addition to the funds from the IDF, the City is also making available $5 million dollars of HOME, CDBG, and City operating funds, along with $10 million from the Neighborhood Housing Trust. HOME and CDBG are Federal grants received by the City that can be used for affordable housing; the NHT is the administrator of funds that are created through the City’s Linkage policy. Linkage is the City directive through which developers of commercial properties make contributions to the City for affordable housing, based on a formula calculated per square foot of commercial space constructed.