Latest Updates from the Mayor's Office of Housing (April 2022)
Mayor Wu Sends Transfer Fee Home Rule Petition to the Statehouse
Mayor Michelle Wu joined legislation sponsor State Representative Brandy Fluker Oakley, local elected officials, and residents to sign a home rule petition to implement a transfer fee of up to two percent on real estate sales of $2 million or more in the City of Boston.
Through the legislation, the first $2 million of the sales price on a home in Boston would be exempt from the fee. For real estate sales over $2 million, the fee collected will be paid by the seller. The funds generated will be allocated to the Neighborhood Housing Trust, which creates new affordable housing and preserves existing affordable housing.
Already passed by the Boston City Council, the bill now moves to the Statehouse, where it requires passage by the Massachusetts Legislature and the governor’s signature.
Based on 2021 sales in Boston, a two percent fee would have raised an estimated $99.7 million for housing, and would have only affected approximately 700 transactions.
Boston’s First Family Homeless Commission Formed
As part of her ongoing efforts to address the issue of homelessness in Boston, Mayor Wu has announced the formation of a Special Commission to End Family Homelessness, made up of non-profit leaders and experts from both City and state agencies. The commission will study local family homelessness and develop a plan to prevent and end family homelessness in Boston.
In 2020, a City ordinance was passed to establish a Special Commission to End Family Homelessness. The ordinance names members for the commission, including the Mayor of Boston, the City’s Chief of Housing, the City’s Chief of Health and Human Services, the Boston Public Schools Superintendent, as well as state seats for the Governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development, and representatives from the Boston Legislative Delegation, homeless service providers, and individuals with lived experience of homelessness or housing insecurity.
Since 2015 the City of Boston has reduced individual chronic homelessness by 19 percent, reduced Veteran homelessness by 32 percent, and has transformed the homeless services system into a coordinated network focused on helping the most vulnerable households. The City has helped to house over 15,000 people experiencing homelessness, housed over 1,000 chronically homeless individuals and more than 1,300 homeless veterans.
Rent Stabilization Advisory Committee Formed
Building upon her commitment to protect Boston renters, Mayor Wu has announced the formation of a Rent Stabilization Advisory Committee composed of housing advocates, developers, tenants, and other stakeholders. The advisory committee members will study local housing conditions as well as the structure and outcomes of rent stabilization programs in other cities. They will make recommendations to the Mayor and the Mayor’s Office of Housing on strategies to stabilize Boston rents and protect tenants from displacement. The committee will meet throughout 2022 with the goal of shaping a proposal for the State Legislature’s next session.
Rent stabilization measures in cities across the United States empower municipalities to set certain limits on annual rent increases for existing tenants, and may also include other tenant protections. These approaches promote the preservation of mixed-income neighborhoods and prevent renters from being pushed out of their communities.
This Advisory Committee will convene monthly to hear from experts on different rent stabilization models and City officials from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) on local rental market conditions. The committee will also hold community listening sessions throughout the process to hear community perspectives on housing affordability challenges and potential solutions. The first community listening session will be held virtually on May 10. The public can RSVP here to attend.
Boston Awarded more than $38 Million in Federal Continuum of Care Funding
The City of Boston has received more than $38 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be distributed among 15 nonprofit organizations that provide critical services and support to Boston’s unsheltered residents. The funds will support the work of the nonprofits and advance Mayor Wu’s goals to end homelessness in Boston. This funding comes at a critical time for organizations providing services to homeless residents, and will bolster their ability to care for populations experiencing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annual McKinney Homeless Continuum of Care awards, a grant program that the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) has applied for and been awarded every year. Over the last seven years, MOH has grown the funding the city receives from this grant by more than 70 percent, from $22.6 million in 2015 to $38 million this year, as a result of their competitive application, and ability to deliver results together with partner agencies.
The City will allocate the HUD funding to organizations that offer a range of services and supports, including housing search, the creation of housing for chronically homeless people, rapid re-housing funds, and stabilization services to allow newly housed chronically homeless individuals to receive the support they need to succeed.
Morton Station Village Begins Construction
Construction of Morton Station Village in Mattapan began in early March. The project will create a total of 40 units of mixed income housing — 12 homeownership units and 28 rental units. A portion of the parcel will be reserved for the creation of a serenity park.
The developers are the Planning Office for Urban Affairs and Caribbean Integration Community Development.
MOH’s Chana Haouzi Receives Young Architect Award
The Mayor’s Office of Housing extends sincere congratulations to Rose Enterprise Fellow Chana Haouzi, AIA, who has been awarded an American Institute of Architects Young Architects Award. This national award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.
Chana has been a fellow in the Neighborhood Housing Division at MOH since October 2020, and describes herself as driven by a sense of responsibility, recognizing that good design holds the potential to address many of society’s issues, transform communities, and change lives. She has distinguished herself as a versatile and immensely talented architect, as well as a leader with a clear and distinct vision. Her work spans the public and private sectors and, through innovative design solutions, bolsters the built environment and advances architectural education.
Haouzi believes that innovation emerges from a design process that engages the stakeholders who are most intimately familiar with their neighborhoods. In Roxbury, she oversees a project that involves developing empty parcels of City-owned land to create 23 subsidized housing opportunities for first-time homebuyers. The designs were developed in partnership with the community and are supported by an interdepartmental effort to shift the development process. She also works as a teacher and mentor to new architects, and has started a nonprofit to improve lives employing the principles she adheres to. Congratulations to Chana!
Upcoming MeetingsAction Plan Hearing #2 and HOME-ARP Plan
Wednesday, April 27, from 6pm to 7:30pm
Registration is not required to participate.
We request your input on two topics:
- MOH draft plan to use $28 million in HUD funds to address housing and community development needs in Boston over the coming year.
- A draft spending plan for $21.6 million in American Rescue Plan, HOME - ARP funds to help individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Interpretation for this hearing offered in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. To arrange for interpretation in other languages, including ASL, email firstname.lastname@example.org at least seven days prior to the hearing date. Every effort will be made to accommodate your request.
MOH is Hiring for Multiple Positions
MOH is looking for dedicated individuals who want to join us in our work to make Boston a better, more equitable city. We’re looking for leaders in the housing field, as well as professionals who are passionate about public service.
Take a look below to see what’s available — and forward these job descriptions to people in your circle who should be applying.
Director of the Housing Innovation Lab
The Housing Innovation Lab (“iLab”) is a collaboration between the MOH and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM). The iLab draws on the expertise of both MONUM and MOH to explore new ideas and approaches in addressing our city’s housing needs. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Neighborhood Housing Development, the Director is responsible for managing the iLab. Learn more and apply.
Deputy Director for Homeownership Programs, Boston Home Center
The Deputy Director for Homeownership Programs is responsible for overseeing the management and operations of the Boston Home Center's Homeownership Programs. Learn more and apply.
Senior Housing Development Officer, Supportive Housing
This new Senior Housing Development Officer to End Family Homelessness role will work in close partnership with the Office of Housing Stability, as well as staff the Special Commission on Ending Family Homelessness. Learn more and apply.
Housing Development Officer, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Housing Development Officer is responsible for all appropriate project and program management activities for assigned housing development projects and initiatives. Learn more and apply.
Housing Development Officer, Supportive Housing
The Housing Development Officer is responsible for managing a variety of supportive housing and homeless programs. This role will manage the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program (HOPWA), including providing administrative and programmatic oversight of all HOPWA-funded contracts, guiding the procurement and monitoring spending of HOPWA funds. Learn more and apply.
Construction Specialist II, Neighborhood Housing Development
The Construction Specialist II is responsible for all construction management and oversight activities and assistance for development projects and programs, including but not limited to 1-3 family rehabs, adaptive re-use developments, renovations of existing rental developments and new construction, wood frame, masonry and steel mid-rise and high rise construction. Learn more and apply.