City meeting some housing goals, falling short in others

The City of Boston released its quarterly housing report for the first quarter of 2016 a few days ago. The report measures the performance of the City in meeting the goals in Mayor Martin Walsh’s housing plan, which wants to see 53,000 new units of housing in Boston by 2030.

According to the report, 565 new residences were permitted in the quarter while 3000 were approved, worth $1.4 billion. The report does not mention that this means a cost of $466,666.67 per unit. While about average for new construction in Boston, according to the Greater Boston Housing Report Card, the high costs can impact affordability.

The quarterly report also showed that Boston was lagging in its creation of new housing for seniors. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development cut funding for low income elderly housing, but the City hopes to use land it owns to develop some. Even market-rate senior housing is lagging, with only one project in the entire city.

And despite some progress, Boston’s colleges are lagging in housing their students, both undergraduate and graduate. According to the report, 3,170 beds have been permitted for the 2030 goal of 16,000 and only 378 of 2,500 graduate beds have been permitted.

The report also states that the City is meeting its goals for preserving and building affordable housing, 6,500 units of low-income housing and 1,500 units of extremely low-income housing. Over 1,300 units of low-income housing have been created, with 362 for the extremely low incomer households. The Boston Housing Authority also has a pipeline for redeveloping 2,736 units and building 1,999 more.

It would be nice to see the BHA plans.


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