Boston Announces Plan to Ramp Up Housing Supply

The city of Boston released its housing report detailing how it will create 53,000 units of housing by 2030.

bostonBoston—The City of Boston released its quarterly housing report this week, and among other things, it detailed how Boston remains on target to meet its goal of creating 53,000 units of housing by 2030. During the first quarter of 2016, some 565 new housing units were permitted, for a total of 17,183 units that have either been permitted or completed since the launch of the administration’s housing plan, Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030, in October 2014.

Currently, there are more than 8,000 new units of housing in construction in Boston, representing more construction employment in the housing sector than at any time in the last 20 years, the report said.

Also, completions are now exceeding projected population growth; in the last year, enough housing came on line to house 5,900 people, while the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s projection for population growth is 4,590 people per year.

Eight projects creating new low-income housing were approved in the first quarter of 2016 by the Department of Neighborhood Development and the Neighborhood Housing Trust, the report also noted. These developments will create 450 new units of housing, 325 of which are low-income affordable. The City recently awarded $27 million in funding and 143,000 square feet of City real estate, which will leverage more than $200 million in other private and public resources.

The City’s most recent rental data is beginning to show a slight decrease in the growth of rents in Boston’s older buildings, which the City defines as those completed before 2011. For example, city-wide, rent for a two-bedroom apartment in an older building only increased 3 percent, which is about normal annual rental growth.

Demand remains high, however, for studios and one-bedroom apartments, which respectively saw 13 percent and 9 percent growth in rental prices. Certain neighborhoods across the city may also be seeing slower rental pricing growth in existing stock: in Back Bay/Beacon Hill, Mattapan, the South End and the Central district, rents have only risen by 1 to 2 percent since 2014.