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Michelle Wu Releases Housing Agenda, Calling for Bold Action to Make it Affordable to Live in Boston

Released on: June 16, 2021

Boston, MA — Michelle Wu today announced a Housing Justice Agenda to expand access to stable, affordable housing for every Bostonian. Her policies would expand rental and homeownership opportunities, increase housing stock and improve housing stability for low and middle-income Bostonians, residents of color and seniors.

Boston is now the second-most expensive city in the country to own a home, and the fifth-most expensive city to rent. Half of Boston renters are cost-burdened as the price of homeownership rises

Because of Boston’s unaffordable cost of housing, our city has continued to lose working families, shown by the fact that our school-aged population is about half what it was in 1970. Disparities in homeownership are a main driver of Boston’s vast racial wealth gap. Evictions have also been on the rise since state protections lapsed and rental markets rebounded. 

Wu’s Housing Justice Agenda emphasizes the key points she will take on as Mayor, including:

  • Committing at least $200 of $500 in federal relief dollars directly to housing;

  • Rent stabilization and at least $10 million in rental subsidies;

  • Property tax relief for senior citizens and others on fixed income;

  • Zoning reforms to streamline and accelerate the construction of affordable housing, including eliminating parking requirements and most review for 100% affordable projects and public housing, and increasing density near transit corridors;

  • Expanding access to homeownership through mortgage support, matched savings programs, municipal homeownership vouchers and other nontraditional financing mechanisms;

  • Leveraging the City’s capital budget and historically  low interest rates to directly build new affordable housing and grow our social housing sector;

  • Building affordable and supportive housing on city assets like schools and libraries; and

  • Ensuring housing is resilient, energy-efficient and able to withstand the effects of climate change. 

"The top concern I hear from families as I’m knocking on doors, at events and speaking with neighbors is the need for housing affordability and the stress of spending more and more to try to stay in Boston. The next mayor needs to take on our housing crisis with the scale and urgency Bostonians deserve. Affording a home of one's own should not be a distant, far-off dream in Boston, accessible only to some. Being able to make rent should not be a monthly struggle. If we want to keep families here and attract people from all over the world, we need to tackle our housing crisis head-on,” said Michelle Wu. 

Michelle Wu has also released bold proposals to create a Cabinet-level Chief of Worker Empowerment, close the childcare gap, transform our public schools, reform the Boston Police Department through contract negotiations, enact a Boston Green New Deal and Just Recovery Plan, Food Justice Agenda, Digital Equity Agenda and more.