Boston Seeks 53,000 Housing Units By 2030 – NMP Skip to main content

Boston Seeks 53,000 Housing Units By 2030

Phil Hall
Oct 09, 2014

In one of the most ambitious municipal housing expansion programs to be announced this year, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh issued a report that envisions the creation of 53,000 new housing units by 2030, with a special focus on supporting the residential needs of low- and moderate-income residents and seniors.

In the 140-page report, “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030,” Mayor Walsh spelled out that Boston’s demographic growth—with a population of 709,000 estimated within 16 years—and commercial real estate expansion—with approximately 20 million square feet of new commercial and institutional floor space that either under construction or waiting construction—needs to be matched with a wider housing inventory that mirrors the financial needs of the majority of the city’s residents. Noting that seniors constitute Boston’s fastest-growing demographic, the report added that an aging population will throw the current housing environment out of alignment.

“The growth in the number of seniors in Boston means that fewer units will become available through turnover to working-age households, requiring construction of 17,400 units of workforce housing to replace those units that will be occupied by seniors,” the report said. “Taken together with the workforce household growth of 26,600, the total demand for workforce housing in 2030 is estimated be 44,000 units.”

Mayor Walsh made city-funded or -mandated housing production a core driving force in the new housing push.

“City resources will be used to create approximately 8,000 affordable units (both senior and workforce), while approximately 4,000 middle-income assisted units will be created via the Inclusionary Development Policy or in mixed-income developments,” the report continued. “The City also expects to see the creation of approximately 13,500 privately-produced middle-income units, which will include workforce housing in lower-priced areas, as well as units created for downsizing senior homeowners. The City is also anticipating that new dormitory construction will result in fewer students in off-campus housing, opening up approximately 5,000 additional workforce housing units formerly occupied by students.”

In encouraging non-municipal intervention in homeownership, the report pointed to economic and social issues that it claimed were limiting housing choices in today’s Boston.

“Today, a household with an income at the midpoint of middle class range ($80,000) can only afford the bottom 23 percent of the homeownership market in Boston, and is priced out of seven of Boston’s 15 neighborhoods,” the report said. “That same $80,000 income is currently enough to afford 51 percent of the rental market; however, rents are rising at five times the rate of income, making the rental market increasingly unaffordable as well. Compounding these challenges is an underlying production cost issue. While funds are available from the City, State and Federal government to subsidize affordable housing, and while the real estate market financially rewards builders who create higher-end housing, there are limited incentives to develop housing that is accessible to the middle class. The City will work with the development community to produce more of this housing, helping to lower the cost of production so that the market may respond.

“The City must also support the ability of all potential buyers to purchase a home in Boston,” the report continued. “Currently, non-White borrowers are less able to access the market. While 40 percent of Boston’s middle class is non-White, only 20 percent of mortgages went to non-White borrowers. To correct a widening homeownership gap within the middle class, we must better understand these issues, and work with our non-profit and lending partners to take meaningful action.”

Furthermore, the report promised that Boston’s housing will sport a greener hue.

“More than 20 percent of Boston’s carbon footprint comes from housing,” the report said. “Boston’s current Climate Action Plan calls for our housing stock to reduce emissions by approximately 100,000 metric tons of CO2e by 2020. We will be required to build housing that is more energy-efficient while we retrofit our existing housing stock.”

Oct 09, 2014
Ginnie Mae Exits The Stone Age And Embraces Blockchain

'Some of the procurement stuff that we do, maybe it’s archaic, maybe it needs to be innovated.'

Industry News
Jan 26, 2022
Katten Partner To Head Women In Securitization

Katten announced that Claudine Chen-Young, a partner in its Structured Finance and Securitization practice in Washington, is the newly named chair of Women in Securitization.

Industry News
Jan 26, 2022
AFR Adds Director Of Marketing

American Financial Resources, Inc. named Lauren Blackburn as its director of marketing, where she will be tasked with driving the company's marketing strategy.

Jan 26, 2022
Standard Communities Creates Affordable Housing For The 'Missing Middle'

Standard Communities is taking over housing stock in the least affordable areas in America.

Industry News
Jan 26, 2022
KBRA Assigns Preliminary Ratings To CSMC 2022-NQM1 Trust

Kroll Bond Rating Agency assigned preliminary ratings to CSMC 2022-NQM1, a $553.7 million non-prime RMBS transaction sponsored by DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.

Jan 25, 2022
Hunt Mortgage Appoints Chief Operating Officer

Bindiya Jain previously has served as a vice president at South Shore Bank and at UniBank for Saving. 

Industry News
Jan 25, 2022