Arrigo and Mayors Coalition Look to Increase Housing Stock

December 13, 2017
By

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Leaders from 14 cities and towns, including Revere, in the Greater Boston area have banded together to form the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition of Greater Boston to address housing stock, accessibility and affordability.

“The housing challenges that burden Revere and other communities in the Greater Boston area cannot be overcome individually.,” Arrigo said. “The efforts to solve these challenges will be most effective when pursued regionally. “

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the new regional partnership last week.

The partnership will address the housing needs of the Metro Boston area, with a focus on housing production, diversity, cost, location, design and increasing stability for the region’s residents.

The partnership will create a regional work plan, which will establish a regional housing production goal, along with specific strategies to achieve that goal throughout the 14-community region.

“Meeting with the Mayors of neighboring communities gives us all a sense of assurance that no singular community will suffer the strain of tackling the challenge alone, and we realize that we all benefit from the joint effort,” Arrigo said. “Going forward, the Coalition will analyze demographic data, economic issues, and various trends in housing; from there, we envision regional strategies that will ultimately produce a positive impact on the region’s economic vitality.”

“In many ways, Revere is already doing its part to solve these challenges,” Arrigo said. “Current projects underway in Revere are a prime example of thoughtful development, utilizing unused or underused properties with close proximity to public transportation and combining a mix of uses that create tax revenue and provide amenities to our residents.

With this new regional effort, the Metro Mayors have outlined a pledge to:

  • Increase the pace of housing construction in every community throughout Metro Boston, sharing the burden of production in order to increase housing affordability for all household types and incomes;
  • Create more housing, both renter- and owner-occupied, in a variety of sizes, including units with two or three bedrooms suitable for families with children;
  • Locate housing near transit and in walkable areas;
  • Utilize design standards that increase physical accessibility for all ages and abilities;
  • Reduce evictions, eliminate unfair rental practices, mitigate displacement, create permanent housing for the homeless, and ensure safe, stable housing;
  • Abolish discrimination against both tenants and buyers, and advance fair, equitable access to housing opportunity.

To accomplish these goals, the group will identify a regional housing production goal and a timeline to achieve it. The plan will take into account demographic data and projections, economic forecasts, development trends, and analysis of current production levels. The target will break down the demand for housing type by price, size, and location, and will account for the need for both rental and ownership unit creation.

“We in Revere will continue to be conscientious of the area’s needs balanced with the City’s specific concerns,” Arrigo said. “The Metropolitan Mayor’s Coalition is an important partnership toward assuring that anyone who wants to live and work in our thriving region will be able to.”

The group will also recommend changes to zoning, local policies, funding calculations for state aid toward public schools, and other tools each city and town can use to help address the housing affordability crisis together.

The Metro Mayors Coalition is a collaborative, problem-solving group of municipal leaders facilitated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), which serves 101 cities and towns across Greater Boston. The Metro Mayors Coalition includes mayors and managers from Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop. For more information on the partnership, visit www.mapc.org/metro-mayors-coalition.

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