I attended the Architecture Boston Expo 2016! I attended to get some insight to what our city is doing in terms of city planning, development and how that impacts you! I will do a blog on each session I attended. This blog will focus on the workforce and affordable housing required.
Mayor Walsh, one of the spokespersons, triumphed with the crowd in the adoption of the Community Preservation Act. $16 million was approved to fund affordable housing, protection of open space, and historic preservation in the greater Boston area. Mayor Walsh exerted his excitement that our historical landmarks would have some much needed attention in addition to many other concerns of our city.
We heard from panelist who expressed the concern that housing is becoming less and less affordable to very people that work in our great city. The Mayor promised that efforts to update zoning was a priority to increase the number of housing units available. In addition, we heard more about the housing innovation lab. The housing innovation lab looks to lower housing costs, gain feedback from the community, and accessing dwellings to increase affordable rentals.
Today 25% of residents are paying 50% of their income on rent. Many variables are contributing to this, including baby boomers moving in and pushing out the young professionals. Baby boomers are looking to downsize and can afford the higher rents allowing for more high rent competition.
53,000 units are promised by 2030. Thus far we have made progress. One third of the 53,000 units have already been delivered after 2 years with 2% making up the low income spectrum. 82% are luxury homes and 18% are modest homes. There is a huge sideload of luxury homes and city hopes to even out the playing fields by increasing modest home development.
Roxbury Housing Innovation Pilot is working on 1 room units with lots of common spaces including, kitchens, gyms, and play areas. These 1 room units area 384 square feet while the bigger family units are 770 square feet. The feedback from the community has been immense that these units are livable despite the small space and are actually welcomed! These are essentially urban tinyhomes, making affordable living more realistic. You can learn more at www.liveuhu.com.
By increasing affordable housing, we can increase the livelihood of our residents. We can allow our teachers, firefighters, contractors and service workers to live and play where they work and not make long commutes. Our Mayor is devoted to seeing change and helping implement needed projects to help the current housing crisis.