Sustainable Housing in Metro Boston


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Sustainable Housing in Metro Boston presentation by MAPC Chief Housing Planner Jennifer Raitt

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  • The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant will afford MAPC a significant opportunity to advance MetroFuture’s Housing Goals, Objectives, and Strategies . Provide Choices Housing patterns that will support regional equity, quality of life, and economic competitiveness
  • Metro Boston will need to develop 349,000 new housing units from 2000 – 2030 in order to accommodate projected population increase and continued declines in household size.  Simply building a certain number of units is not sufficient to meet the region’s increasingly diverse housing needs, for low and moderate income residents, seniors, non-traditional households, and others.  Local, state, and regional housing policies must address these diverse needs by promoting a range of housing types and affordability, by expanding programs that connect residents with housing opportunities, and by ensuring equitable access to these opportunities for all of the region’s residents. Although we are now seeing a slump in the housing market, we should remember that the region always sees ups and downs in the housing market.  It is unwise to predict housing needs based solely on the high or low point in the market – that is why MetroFuture recommendations are based on long-term trends.  Over the long arc of recent decades, the dominant factors in the Metro Boston housing market have been high demand and limited supply, with particularly harsh impacts on low-income families.  
  •   The Regional Housing Plan will provide a statement of needs and strategies to advance local and regional housing planning goals and activities. MetroFuture’s Housing Goal states that we as a region will provide access to housing. “Access” will take many forms and the process I am about to explain to you how we will advance our region towards that important goal.   Our region continues to have significant housing needs. We have been identified as a high housing cost area in the country by multiple housing sources. Housing fosters our economic growth. Recent housing trends have led to increased foreclosures and raised rents. We need to understand what housing is likely to be available for our region and how we can plan accordingly.
  • We still have far to go to meet housing needs in our region. To fully achieve our goal to provide access to housing, through our regional housing plan process we will update the facts and figures that define housing needs, analyze housing supply and demand, and create a robust action plan. The action plan will advance our work and the work of others in the housing field through partnerships (nurturing existing ones and nurturing new ones) by designing policies, securing resources, and identifying opportunities to create and preserve housing in locations that meet local and regional needs.
  • Slide: Snapshot of housing units in the pipeline according to 2010 development database: map showing what housing units are in the pipeline (recently completed, under development) in terms of single and multifamily units. (2010 MAPC Development Database data)   A few months ago, MAPC introduced our State of Equity report. Findings from that report showed that there continues to be a significant equity imbalance in our region, including in the housing arena. The Regional Fair Housing Plan will take a traditional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing, which seeks to understand and identify burdens on those who live in our region, a step further. The Regional Fair Housing Plan will give our region an opportunity to examine and recommend policies that influence housing development and preservation at all levels of the housing market. An active fair housing plan will not just identify the housing quality conditions and cost burdens, but work to overcome them with partners to advance equity and ensure housing for all.
  • Between the Regional Housing Plan and the Regional Fair Housing Plan – MAPC will provide guidance to our communities with regard to housing – how to plan for it, where to build it, and how to secure the resources to achieve goals, including the capacity and organizational structure. HUD is looking at the broader housing market, who’s being served and who is not being served. Significant public housing stock in our region may be lost due to expiring mortgage 40-year terms that ensured affordability. We need to understand how much housing will be needed and where it needs to be located
  • Our work will build upon the significant volume of existing plans – of all types – and, in many cases, the thoughtful process that was used to develop those plans. In the next 40 minutes, we are asking you to weigh in substantively on one of four topics connected to these plans: mixed-use and multifamily housing (which will take place in this room), senior and supportive housing, fair housing, and the regionalization of housing services (which will take place in the breakout rooms). These discussions will allow you to participate in helping identify key polices and recommendations that should be explored through the Regional Housing Plan and Regional Fair Housing Plan process.   Housing is as much a personal experience as it is a community and regional experience. For me, I grew up and often consider my childhood housing a touchstone for how I approach housing planning today. Seems strange for me to mention my incredible suburban upbringing in Greater Washington and Greater Philadelphia as I stand here today to help plan the Greater Boston region’s housing. But if you don’t know me, you don’t know that I’m driven by key aspects of my past and that I cherish home and place and want to make others in my family, my community, and my region to be able to appreciate it the same.  To cherish home, you have to know where you’ve come from. Planning is as much a personal reflective exercise as it is a community, or in this case a regional exercise.   Slide 9: Tying it all together – Housing Production Planning – aligning local plans with the regional plan.
  • Sustainable Housing in Metro Boston

    1. 1. Sustainable Housing in Metro Boston Jennifer M. Raitt Chief Housing Planner
    2. 2. <ul><li>Promote equitable and affordable housing by emphasizing affordable housing options in segregated suburban neighborhoods; an increase in the production of smaller units in transportation efficient locations; and interventions to prevent displacement, foreclosures, and homelessness. </li></ul>MetroFuture Housing Goals
    3. 3. <ul><li>Develop coordinated regional and local plans for diverse housing production </li></ul><ul><li>Increase affordable housing production in appropriate locations </li></ul><ul><li>Diversify overall housing supply and affordability </li></ul><ul><li>Connect residents to housing opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure fair and accessible housing </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve, maintain, and upgrade existing affordable housing stock </li></ul>MetroFuture Housing Strategies
    4. 4. <ul><li>Both projects will collect data about housing needs in the region and the constraints and opportunities that enable or prevent attainment of housing goals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The RHP will recommend policies to encourage housing development and preservation that meets current and projected needs in an equitable manner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The RAI will recommend policies that influence housing development and preservation at all levels of the housing market, identifying specific activities and entities to address identified impediments. </li></ul></ul>Plan Elements
    5. 5. Households with Moderate Cost Burden, 2005-2009
    6. 6. Major Housing Developments Recently Completed and Planned
    7. 7. % Change in Senior Population by Municipality, 2000 – 2030
    8. 8. Housing Production Plans, 2010