Boston planning draft emphasizes affordable housing

Mayor Marty Walsh. (Image courtesy of the City of Boston.)

The City of Boston released the latest draft of the Imagine Boston 2030 citywide plan on May 18, with a heavy emphasis on affordable housing.

According to city officials, by 2030, Boston will need at least 53,000 more housing units than it currently has so it can handle its growing population. However, with little available land to build on, limited housing stock has property prices soaring.

“This new draft of Imagine Boston 2030 takes a careful and proactive approach to making sure that all Bostonians benefit from the historic growth that is happening in our city,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “As we continue to make investments to expand access to opportunity, we also want to make sure that people can afford to stay in neighborhoods they live — in the neighborhoods they helped build.”

To address the housing need, the plan is broken down into three parts; encourage a mixed-use core, expand neighborhoods and enhance existing neighborhoods.

In terms of encouraging mixed use, Boston wants to remain a vibrant city in the future with things to do on the weekends and nightlife options. Imagine Boston would like to see Downtown and Longwood to have continued job growth and more housing so people can live near where they work.

For expanding neighborhoods, the city believes some neighborhoods needs more attention through added job growth and housing options. The city would also like to makes these areas more transit friendly. In the report, six areas are featured as “expanded neighborhoods” in which the city would like to see more guided growth. They are Sullivan Square, Newmarket and Widett Circle, Fort Point Channel, Suffolk Downs, Readville, and Beacon Yards.

Finally, enhancing existing neighborhoods would involve add more green space and art spaces to neighborhoods. City officials plan to study displacement in various parts of the city to make sure new housing isn’t causing unforeseen harm.

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About Sara Brown

Sara Brown is the Sampan health editor.

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