Not a Brahmin
- Jan 22, 2012
- Reaction score
Her answer on housing affordability:
Housing affordability is one of the most pressing issues facing Boston residents, and the pandemic has destabilized even more families. Prior to COVID-19, Boston was experiencing a building boom and population growth, but the number of kids living in the city has actually gone down over the last few decades. Families have been squeezed, and we need to ease the pressure on housing costs.
First is that when we talk about “affordable” units, we need to be specific about what that means. From 2011 to 2017, fewer than 9% of newly permitted units were affordable for residents making up to 60% of the Area Median Income — who make up nearly half of Boston’s residents. We may be in the middle of a building boom, but it’s not meeting the needs of Boston’s working families.
I led the charge to close corporate loopholes for short-term rentals when Airbnb and similar platforms were being used to displace tenants and drive rents up--our legislation set a national precedent and returned thousands of units back to long-term rental housing.
We need to use the tools of planning and zoning to be specific about where density and affordability should be streamlined, and to fully incorporate affirmatively furthering fair housing.
We also need more aggressive public investment to keep families from being pushed out of Boston. I’ve worked to start laying the groundwork for using green and social bonds to leverage our capital budget to build new housing that’s not only deeply affordable, but also energy-efficient, driving down utility costs for families and improving air quality and public health. We have a responsibility to use every financial tool at our disposal to expand housing options. As Mayor, I’ll work to expand the social housing sector, like cooperatives, non-profits, community land trusts, and public housing, which guarantees long-term affordability and stability for residents by removing housing from the speculative market.