BOSTON – Today Boston City Councilor and Mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell released her plan to address Boston’s housing crisis by leading with equity-driven solutions, optimizing the City’s housing assistance programs to provide immediate relief, taking a holistic and innovative approach to planning and zoning reform, and creating more safe, affordable, and stable housing for all Bostonians.
“I’ve seen firsthand the effects of Boston’s housing affordability crisis — from gentrification and displacement many of my neighbors and I experienced growing up in Roxbury and the South End to the number of constituents in Dorchester and Mattapan I work with as a district councilor who struggle to access or afford quality, stable housing as costs go up and wages remain stagnant,” said Councilor Campbell. “Now more than ever, safe and affordable housing is essential for residents to stay healthy and for Boston to be a resilient city. As Mayor, I will lead collaborative, innovative, and equity-driven solutions to end our housing crisis so that all Bostonians can benefit from the City’s growth.”
Campbell’s plan to address Boston’s housing crisis and grow the city equitably details six key strategies:
- Increase Housing Affordability. Andrea will advance the work of the City’s Neighborhood Housing Division into a highly functioning land bank, and support community land trusts that put land into the hands of the community for resident-led planning and ownership; advocate to federal leaders to change the definition of Area Median Income to better reflect our neighborhoods and expand the definition and criteria of low income housing; build more pathways to homeownership; and fund programs to ensure seniors are able to age in place with dignity.
- Maximize Pandemic Relief. Andrea will fully resource the Office of Housing Stability, the City’s one-stop-shop for renters and families facing displacement, eviction or homelessness; maximize emergency rental assistance and make the City’s Rental Relief Fund permanent; create a workforce housing voucher program to reach low and middle-income residents and cut down on BHA waitlists; update the Fair Chance Tenant Selection Policy to prohibit discrimination against potential tenants with histories in housing court; and prevent eviction and displacement by expanding City’s landlord-tenant mediation program and strengthening tenant protections including guaranteed legal representation in housing court.
- Drive equitable planning. Andrea envisions a comprehensive, collaborative planning process to inform how and where we develop that ensures adequate affordable housing throughout the City. Andrea will lead a comprehensive BPDA reform process to add consistency, transparency, and equity in planning processes and establish a department within the BPDA focused on proactive organizing, outreach, and representative community engagement; streamline development review and permitting to make processes more efficient and less costly; remove affordable housing from the Article 80 review process; increase contracts with MWBE developers; and build a diverse talent pipeline in the fields of development, urban design, planning, and construction.
- Execute on Zoning Overhaul. Through a transparent, community-engaged process, Andrea will create a city-wide plan that allows our City to grow in a way that benefits and protects current and long-time Boston residents. Andrea will implement transfer of development rights, an equitable approach that enables small and mid-sized property owners and CDCs to participate more actively in the market; enable and increase transit-oriented development with zoning overlays and expanding the definition of TOD to include additional transit stops; advance inclusionary development by exploring an increase in IDP to 20% in neighborhoods with higher development and economic growth, and encouraging developers to build on-site inclusionary development as much as possible while also strengthening the IDP transfer program for off-site development.
- Develop Boston creatively. Andrea will make it easier to activate vacant lots across the city with innovative housing solutions, arts projects, or active green spaces; use legislative tools to generate affordable housing including a revolving loan fund and allowing for permanent accessory dwelling units; and preserve Boston’s historic architecture in new ways, such as incentivizing triple-decker retrofitting projects and working with the Landmarks Commission to preserve historic buildings and delay demolition.
- Tackle Homelessness. Andrea will tackle homelessness by implementing a housing-first approach with programs supporting survivors of domestic violence, veterans, returning citizens, and those in recovery; expanding housing vouchers for BPS families and further allocating resources to programs like youth rapid rehousing to address youth homelesness; and investing in transitional housing and building more permanent supportive housing.
View Councilor Campbell’s full housing plan here.
Campbell’s housing plan is the tenth policy plan she has released since the start of her campaign. She has also released comprehensive policy plans on transportation, environmental justice, public safety and criminal justice, education, economic recovery, restaurant recovery, public health, COVID-19 recovery and addressing the crisis at Mass & Cass.