Safe, healthy, accessible, affordable housing is a human right. Yet in Boston, a stable home has become a luxury not everyone can afford. Only about one-third of Boston residents own their own home, and half of Boston’s renters are rent-burdened. As COVID-19 devastated communities already struggling with displacement and rising rents, tens of thousands of Boston families are living in fear of the impending evictions crisis. Michelle will fight for resources to create truly affordable housing and end chronic homelessness, zoning reforms to prioritize fair housing and affordable homes for families, protections to stabilize tenants, and ways to expand permanent affordability, such as community land trusts. Michelle will prioritize housing stability for Boston families.
Policy PrioritiesHow We Will Lead
Building Boston’s future around affordable housing
Housing is the cornerstone of health, racial justice, economic and educational opportunity, and long-term stability. We can increase access to affordable housing by investing in and expanding social and cooperative housing, prioritize housing for low-income individuals and residents experiencing homelessness, and grow the supply of housing while focusing on housing stability. The City should work to expand permanent affordability through community land trusts and help more families purchase homes.
Combating the housing crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the stresses of the pandemic, renters are struggling to afford to stay housed. We must commit to providing immediate support to families through rental relief and a moratorium on evictions. A crisis of this magnitude will have dramatic ripple effects: a reduction in educational attainment, employment and lifetime savings, and a higher incidence of a lifetime of health issues.
Planning for community resiliency, not displacement
As Boston’s residents face the effects of an impending housing crisis and the threat of displacement, we must consider pathways to resiliency. We need to create a true city planning department that does right by the people of Boston, including by preserving opportunities for seniors and people with disabilities to live at home. Read more about Michelle’s ideas for city planning and check out her plan to fix our broken development system.
Stabilizing the rental market and protecting tenants
As the pandemic continues to shake the rental market, tenants are contending with continued uncertainty. We must take action to stabilize the short-term rental market and ensure tenants’ right to counsel. We need to protect tenants against displacement, rising housing prices, and public safety issues by closing commercial loopholes.
We need to create long-term, stable, accessible, supportive housing for people currently experiencing homelessness, going beyond providing short-term shelter to address the root cause of housing instability: affordability. We must also recognize that housing is a public health issue, and coordinate community partnerships to provide people experiencing homelessness with mental health care, treatment for substance abuse disorders, and other wrap-around services. City services must recognize the particular needs of working families, LGBTQ youth, people with disabilities, and other communities living in unstable housing.
Confronting Boston’s legacy of racism and housing discrimination
Discriminatory practices like redlining and exclusionary zoning have resulted in disproportionately high rates of housing instability in communities of color and Black communities all over the country. We know this very well in Boston; the difference in life expectancy in Back Bay is 30 years higher than it is in Roxbury, where COVID-19 infection rates are among the highest in the city. This is a direct manifestation of the legacy of structural racism in policy and practice. We must amend Boston’s zoning code to affirmatively further fair housing.
Implementing Boston’s Green New Deal (GND)
Michelle has proposed a groundbreaking plan to implement the GND at the municipal level, which includes a housing agenda built around environmental sustainability, racial and socioeconomic integration, and safeguards against displacement.
Michelle's RecordWhat We've Done Together So Far
Visited nearly every emergency shelter in the city and held a hearing to examine resources needed to serve unhoused LGBTQ youth
Advocated for rental relief and a moratorium evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent individuals from being pushed into homelessness