More Boston Affordable Housing Units Coming Soon

Mayor Martin J. Walsh recently announced that there will be more Boston affordable housing units available due to the City’s Inclusionary Development Fund. The Fund is estimated to be five million dollars by this Spring and it will be available after a thorough review of the fund’s finances and fiscal controls.

Boston Affordable Housing Policy

According to the Inclusionary Development Policy, developers of new housing with 10 or more units will receive relief from the Boston Zoning Code if they designate a portion of their units for affordable housing. The total amount of the housing units set aside should amount to 15% of the market rate units in a development.

Boston Affordable Housing PolicyIf they do not wish to build low-cost units on-site, developers have an option to make payments into the Boston affordable housing fund. Currently, that payment must be no less than $200,000 per unit.

In its 14 years of existence, the Inclusionary Development Program has collected a total of $58.1 million in funding, of which $56.4 million has been spent on or committed to 54 affordable housing projects and programs. It is predicted that another $43.1 million will be received in the next few years.


How will the funds be managed?

The City’s Department of Neighborhood Development has been tasked to establish a new, transparent process for the disbursement of these funds, which had previously been done by the BRA. An independent third party will perform an annual financial audit of the fund. Furthermore, the City of Boston’s Treasury Department will be responsible for making sure that developers make their payments in full and on time.

Mayor Walsh’s administration had a goal to permit 1,000 units within the first 100 days in office. The goal was successfully reached and the City has permitted 1,069 Boston affordable housing units so far.

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New Boston Housing Plan Announced

Boston Mayor Menino announces new Boston housing plan.Mayor Thomas M. Menino has announced a new Boston housing plan to build 30,000 units of housing in the City by the year 2020.

Housing Boston 2020, the City’s new blueprint for housing strategy, represents a total plan for $16 billion of public and private investment that will create housing to meet the changing demographic needs of the city and its citizens.  An advisory panel and three working groups convened to advise Mayor Menino on the city’s new policy.

Housing Boston 2020 will serve as a concrete action plan for the remaining days of the Menino administration, while serving as a blueprint for an incoming administration. Working with the Mayor’s Housing Advisory Panel, city staff and external thought leaders identified four main priorities for the City: accommodating growth; expansion of the middle class; affordable housing for Boston’s workforce; and college and university housing.

Mayor Menino’s New Boston Housing Plan Calls For:

  • The addition of 30,000 new units of housing in the decade of the 2010s. 25,000 of these will be private market rate units, requiring $10 billion in new investment in Boston;
  • The establishment of a 5,000-unit, $1.5 billion dollar middle class housing initiative to expand the supply of housing affordable to the middle class;
  • The creation of 5,000 new units of affordable, deed-restricted housing, while maintaining 97 percent occupancy rates and preserving 95 percent of expiring affordable housing, requiring $2 billion in governmental and private financing;
  • The investment of $1.5 billion to house 10,000 more full time students, including a new focus on housing graduate students.

Boston Housing Still Faces Challenges

Boston housing still faces challenges, from shifting demographics to dwindling public resources.  The Advisory Panel and City staff identified five key areas where the City finds itself most challenged:

  • 23,000 very low income families are considered at risk of becoming homeless, while federal funding for affordable housing has been cut by 35 – 45 percent.
  • 100,000 net new jobs are expected to be created in Boston by 2020.  Those jobs, combined with a rising preference of workers to live in the city, will likely generate demand for 28,800 new units.
  • Housing prices for the middle class are rising at double the rate that incomes are growing.
  • Boston’s nation-leading inventory of 52,000 units of affordable housing is increasingly at risk due to declining federal operating support for public housing, capital obsolescence, and expiring affordability restrictions
  • Boston’s colleges and universities still have more than 34,000 students living in off-campus housing in Boston, with demand highly concentrated in just a few areas.

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Most Lenders Believe The Boston Area Housing Recovery is Real

A new survey of bank risk professionals, when asked about Boston area housing, shows the originations space warming to the idea of expanding home lending.

Boston Area Housing Prices Sustainable

Boston area housing prices are risingApproximately 70% of the professionals surveyed feel home prices are rising at a sustainable pace, reaffirming that the Boston area housing recovery is real.

FICO and the Professional Risk Managers International Association surveyed bank risk professionals regarding their predictions for the next six months.

“The latest survey results, combined with data that indicates the real estate market is improving, not only in Greater Boston, but in many regions, paint a positive picture for a sector of the economy that has been slow to join the recovery,” said Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs.

Meanwhile, 59% of bankers expect the supply of credit for residential mortgages to meet demand over the next six months, and 60% expect the supply of credit for mortgage refinancing to meet demand.

Jennings explained, “Mortgage lenders have been understandably guarded over the past five years. The improvement in their sentiment should be welcome news, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see lenders cautiously expanding their mortgage and home equity lending businesses.”

The survey found 84% of people believe that the level of mortgage delinquencies will decrease or stay the same, a significant improvement over last quarter.

Additionally, less than 20% believe the level of home equity line delinquencies will rise.

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Boston Housing – 30,000 New Units Coming

Mayor Thomas Menino announced recently the Housing Boston 2020 Plan, which will create 30,000 new Boston housing units in the next seven years. The plans will spur the city’s fastest rate of growth yet.

The Boston housing supply has grown faster than at any time in the last 50 years, with 20,000 housing units created between 2000 and 2010. Noting that today’s housing market is a markedly different one, Menino said the city will work with a wide range of experts to prepare for the housing needs of all Bostonians.

Boston housing to add 30,000 new units over the next 7 yearsMenino also outlined the city’s progress and goals for education, housing, economic development, youth investment and working women. Citing financial stability as the catalyst for Boston’s “incredible pace of growth,” Menino also announced plans to improve quality in all Boston public schools; connect students and families with technology in the form of a new Boston E-Lit program; and increased access to the city’s public libraries.

As part of his technology push, Menino said the library-loaned iPads will come “preloaded with bestselling books and apps to connect them with job searching, social media and language-learning tools.”

Menino’s speech focused on the city’s efforts to ensure Boston’s students are keeping pace with the growing economy, and pointed to years of progress in education reform, growth of in-district charter schools and teacher evaluation. He also spoke of more recent achievements, including a historic change to the city’s student assignment process that will give more students quality schools, close to home; new enrollment projections for Boston Public Schools; and the city’s intentions to open a new downtown school by fall 2016.

Menino also pointed to Boston’s record of success when it comes to connecting Boston residents with necessary technology. He announced a new push in digital and electronic learning called Boston E-Lit, which will bring 10,000 more mobile devices to Boston public schools over the next two years.

Boston Housing Plan to Overhaul Millennium Park

As part of his Boston housing plan, Menino also announced an $11 million investment to complete the overhaul of Millennium Park in West Roxbury, where families will be able to take advantage of a new athletic track, multi-use fields, two tennis courts, a football field and new lighting.

For the first time, the mayor will set aside $1 million in the city’s budget for youth to allocate through “participatory budgeting,” in an effort to educate youth on how the budget works and allow them to decide how funds should be invested. He also implored attendees to participate in his summer jobs program, with the aim to see 40 new firms hire Boston youth for the first time this summer and make 2013 another record-breaking year for the program.

This is very positive long term news for Boston housing. To stay up to date on Boston housing, bookmark our Boston Real Estate News Page and visit again soon. Here’s another article you might be interested in reading on Boston housing.

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Greater Boston Housing Market Starving for Sellers

The Greater Boston housing market is crawling with buyers wanting to know where all the sellers are?

The lack of inventory in the Boston housing market is forcing buyers to compete for fewer homes, and bids above the original asking price are becoming more and more common.

The number of homes for sale in Massachusetts is at an eight-year low. Some owners either can’t afford to sell because they still owe more than their properties are worth, while others aren’t yet convinced it’s the right time.

Boston Housing Selling For More Than List Price

When looking at Greater Boston housing, use an exclusive buyer agent who will help you not overpay for your home.A recent analysis of the Greater Boston housing market MLS information by the Boston Business Journal found that properties selling for more than their asking price have more than doubled in the past year. A total of 512 buyers paid more than list price in the Boston metro area from December 1st through March 6th, an increase of 218 in the same period last year.

The tight market has prompted robust competition in some of the Greater Boston area’s more popular neighborhoods, prompting bidding wars and price inflation.

It’s not just that sellers are sparse — it’s that buyers are quickly snatching up attractive homes almost as soon as they are put up for sale. Last year, the Massachusetts housing market began to build momentum. Statewide, 46,887 single-family homes were sold, the most since 2006, according to Warren Group, a Boston company that tracks local real estate. The buzz of activity carried over into January, with sales 10 percent higher than the same month in 2012, Warren Group said. Some worry that if sellers don’t soon start showing up in greater numbers, the upward sales trajectory will falter.

Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, said the relative lack of inventory of Boston housing for sale suggests many interested home buyers are coming from outside the area, or are local first-time home buyers or investors. Otherwise, he said, buyers would be selling their existing properties — leaving local Boston housing inventory relatively unaffected.

It’s times like these that home buyers need their own agent more than ever. We work as your consultant and advocate rather than as a salesperson. We’re dedicated (not designated) agents, all working 100% for buyers only and always. Call us today and let us go to work looking for your perfect Greater Boston area home. 1 (800) 252-8937 (toll free), or locally, (978) 468-2138.

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