Completed housing now exceeding expected population growth, 17,000 units permitted or complete; 18,000 in pipeline
BOSTON – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that according to the City’s quarterly housing report, Boston remains on target to meet the goal of creating 53,000 units of housing by 2030. This quarter, 565 new housing units were permitted, for a total of 17,183 units that have either been permitted or completed since the launch of the administration’s housing plan, Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, in October 2014.
“Our population is growing faster today than at any time in our city’s history, and I’m committed to making sure that Boston stays affordable by meeting the demand of our growing city,” said Mayor Walsh. ” By working across multiple agencies, this Administration is working everyday to bring new units on line at a variety of income levels, and we are seeing results.”
More than 3,000 new units, representing $1.4 billion in new investment, were approved by the City this quarter, resulting in an active development pipeline of 18,644 units of housing. In total, 35,808 new units of housing have either been completed or are in the development process.
Currently, there are more than 8,000 new units of housing in construction in Boston – representing more construction employment in the housing sector than at any time in the last 20 years.
By the end of Q1 2016, enough new housing had been completed to house 20,237 new Bostonians. Completions are now exceeding projected population growth: in the last year, enough housing came on line to house 5,900 people, while the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s projection for population growth is 4,590 people per year.
The City’s most recent rental data is beginning to show a slight decrease in the growth of rents in Boston’s older buildings, which the City defines as those completed prior to 2011. For example, city-wide, rent for a two bedroom apartment in an older building only increased three percent, which is approximately normal annual rental growth. Demand remains high, however, for studios and one bedroom apartments, which respectively saw 13 and nine percent growth in rental prices. Certain neighborhoods across the city may also be seeing slower rental pricing growth in existing stock: in Back Bay/Beacon Hill, Mattapan, the South End, and the Central district, rents have only risen by one to two percent since 2014.
Eight projects creating new low-income housing were approved this quarter by Department of Neighborhood Development and the Neighborhood Housing Trust. These developments will create 450 new units of housing, 325 of which are low-income affordable. The City recently awarded $27 million in funding and 143,000 square feet of City real estate, which will leverage more than $200 million in other private and public resources. Since May, 2015, the Walsh administration has awarded more than $66 million in funding for affordable housing.
In his January 2016 State of the City Address, Mayor Walsh highlighted the importance of the City’s anti-displacement efforts and announced the creation of the Office of Housing Stability. This new office is charged with the responsibility of preventing involuntary displacement in all its forms. The new office will be a new division of Department of Neighborhood Development, with the goal of being staffed and running at the beginning of FY17. The City currently funds two significant anti-displacement programs: Foreclosure Prevention and Homelessness Prevention. Since 2014, more than 2,000 households have been able to retain their housing as a result of these programs.