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Boston-area mayors come together to address housing crisis

As Greater Boston's population grows, the housing shortage worsens. Now, 14 local leaders are coming together to work on that issue.
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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and other local leaders are partnering up to address the housing shortage amid growth in the Greater Boston area’s population.

The Metropolitan Mayors Coalition of Greater Boston, made up of 14 representatives from local cities and towns, announced the creation of the regional housing partnership on Tuesday.

The point of the partnership, officials said, is to address the housing needs of the Greater Boston area, focusing specifically on housing production, diversity, cost, design and increasing stability in the lives of residents.

“Affordable housing is one of our top priorities in Boston -- and we know that for Metro Boston to be affordable for all residents, we need to work together with cities and towns throughout the region,” Walsh said in a statement. “This plan is another step forward towards ensuring all those who wish to live here can, and I look forward to working with our partner cities and towns across the region to continue creating homes for all.”

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Walsh has previously addressed the issue of housing in the city’s Imagine Boston 2030 plan. By 2030, Boston will need at least 53,000 more housing units than currently exist in order to keep up with the city’s growing population, officials project. By 2050, an additional 42,000 units will be needed.

As housing becomes rarer and more expensive in the city’s limits, residents are moving out into neighboring towns and cities.

“Our entire region is facing and must solve the same pressing challenge: Metro Boston’s affordability crisis and its limited housing stock,” Curtatone said in a statement. “But the solutions cannot be one-size-fits-all, which is why this task force is so critical.”

Within the partnership, the 14 representatives have pledged to increase the pace of housing construction in every community throughout Metro Boston, so as to “share the burden” and increase affordability.

Officials want to create a variety of housing options, from rentals to owned, and suitable for families. They will focus on ensuring new housing is near transit and in walkable areas. They will also weigh in on zoning changes, local policies and calculating funding for state aid toward public schools.

Representatives from Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop make up the coalition.
 

 
 
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