Production of new units increase under Walsh Administration
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.
In 2015, Mayor Walsh issued an Executive Order to improve the fifteen-year-old IDP to ensure that the City continues to best leverage Boston’s strong private development market to create affordable housing. The policy update recognizes that development in downtown neighborhoods is strong, while unsubsidized housing for middle-income families in outer neighborhood is still needed. Developments in downtown neighborhoods are now designated as Zone A and are required to pay 228 percent more to the IDP Fund than a development in the outer neighborhoods designated as Zone C.
“One of my top priorities continues to be working to make Boston affordable for all those that want to live here,” said Mayor Walsh. “We’ve committed a significant amount of resources across agencies to maintain and expand our city’s affordable housing stock, and IDP is one of the most impactful tools the City has to leverage the strong private development market to increase affordable and low-income housing.”
As a result of the Inclusionary Development Policy and other efforts, under the Walsh Administration, affordable/income-restricted housing production has increased from an average of 290 units per year before the introduction of IDP, to an average of 605 per year over the last three years.
2016 was a record year, with $23.7 million paid to the IDP Fund, representing 24 percent of all payments made since the inception of the program. In addition, $42.8 million in new funds were committed to the fund in connection with 2016 BPDA Board approved projects.
“This report is a result of the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s mission to track the progress we are making to guide inclusive growth,” said Brian Golden, Director of the BPDA. “Today, we are in the midst of the biggest building boom in Boston’s history and it is critical that this building boom reaches every one of our residents. We will continue to build upon the work laid out in this report to strengthen the IDP as well as all of our other tools to leverage private development and create and maintain our affordable housing.”
“IDP has become a fantastic source of affordable housing in South Boston. Without it, we would have very few new affordable housing units created in this neighborhood because of the limited land available for development,” said Donna Brown, Executive Director of the South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation. “IDP units provide a great opportunity for moderate income families and individuals to live in the new buildings developed near Broadway Station, the South Boston Waterfront and Fort Point areas. IDP funds have also provided an important source of financing for new developments like Patriot Homes for Veterans, serving low-income and homeless Veterans in South Boston.”
Additional highlights of the report include:
The IDP report is a result of the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s renewed vision and focus to better reflect its work and ongoing mission, and will be formally presented to the BPDA Board of Directors on Thursday, August 10.