Developers who don’t want affordable-housing will have to pay up
On Wednesday, Mayor Marty Walsh will sign an executive order to create a new system to help fund and build affordable housing in the the city of Boston. In a nutshell, housing developers with 10 or more units need to set aside a percentage of units for low/middle income residents or they need to pay into a fund that subsidies affordable housing units. With this new order, it will be the first time in nine years the city will revise the formula that requires developers to either include apartments for lower-and middle income residents or to pay a fee into a city housing fund.
Basically, the new plan splits the city into three zones. Zone A – a high-end area including downtown, the Seaport District aka Southie, and the Fenway. Zone B includes South Boston, Jamaica Plain, Charlestown and Allston-Brighton and Zone C which includes East Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park and West Roxbury..
Developers’ cash contributions in high-cost neighborhoods will be raised from $200,00 to $380,000 per unit. They will stay at the rate of $200,000 in the lower-cost areas. If developers choose to put affordable housing in their building, the 13 percent of units rule remains.
Mayor Walsh and his administration hopes it will fund much needed middle-class and affordable housing. The new rates will not change in places where development is practically non-existent but will change in areas with a hot real estate market like Southie.
So we shall see if this helps with South Boston’s need for middle-class housing.