Councilor Edwards Calls for Updates to Two Affordable Housing Programs

Click here to view original web page at

From the Office of Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, representing District One (North End, Charlestown and East Boston):

Councilors Lydia Edwards, Chair of Boston’s Housing and Community Development Committee has released a policy brief calling for updates on two key housing programs.

The first focuses on Inclusionary Development, which requires certain developers to produce deed-restricted units (for rental units, at up to 70% of the Area Median Income) or pay towards a fund that accomplishes the same purpose. The second is the Linkage Program (also known as Development Impact Fees), which generates funds for the Neighborhood Housing and Neighborhood Jobs Trust.

In the report, Councilor Edwards points out that Boston is behind Cambridge and Somerville in these program requirements. Inclusionary development in Boston is currently set at 13%, with up to 18% applying in certain areas, while Cambridge and Somerville have adopted 20% inclusionary requirements. The chart below details this comparison.

Linkage, which in Boston applies to buildings over 100,000 square feet, is currently $10.81 / square foot with $9.03 allocated for housing. A linkage Nexus study commissioned by the Walsh administration in 2016 recommended increasing the housing portion to $16.08 – $21.39, depending on exemptions, for a total of $18.07 to $24.04. Councilor Edwards filed legislation in January to implement these recommendations. Boston’s development impact fees are compared to neighboring communities in the chart below.

See updates called for in the report below and read the full document here.