- On August 11, 2021
- In Affordable Housing
Guide to 2021 Boston Mayoral Candidates’ Homeownership Policies
As the Boston mayoral race heats up and the field continues to narrow, affordable homeownership is becoming an important campaign topic for Boston’s remaining candidates. In a recent Boston Globe article, each candidate shared personal stories of their paths to homeownership, with our CEO Vanessa Calderón-Rosado noting that the next mayor has an opportunity to think creatively about investing federal funds to increase homeownership opportunities and expand on existing financial programs.
There is growing public concern about the future of housing in Boston. Boston is the third most intensely gentrified city in the United States and the racial wealth gap across the city has widened. For all the mayoral candidates, homeownership is considered an important way to close the racial wealth gap and build generational wealth, especially in marginalized communities.
Here are the current 2021 mayoral candidates’ policies on creating an affordable andequitable path to homeownership:
Acting Mayor of Boston Kim Janey
Acting Mayor Kim Janey affirms the importance of homeownership and her support of the state to let cities decide how to control rising housing costs. Tackling homeownership disparities as acting mayor, Janey has invested $2.4 million into the Boston Home Center’s first-time Homebuyer Program. If she is to be elected, she hopes to work closely with housing advocates and study ways to improve the Inclusionary Development Policy as a tool to develop more homeownership opportunities for working families.
Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu
To address the financial and racial barriers to homeownership, City Councilor Michelle Wuwants to contribute city funds to match savings programs for homebuyers that do not possess generational wealth. She also plans to launch a municipal homeownership voucher program and expand educational homeownership programs for aspiring buyers. Wu would also urge the state and federal government to support homebuyer programs for marginalized communities and expand the ONE+Boston Mortgage program, which lowers monthly payments for low- to moderate-income households.
Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell
Viewing homeownership as a mechanism of economic mobility and stability, City Councilor Andrea Campbell’s plan to build pathways to homeownership includes investing in existing and developing new educational programs and financial resources for first-time homebuyers. She wants to expand the capacity of programs and offices – such as the Boston Home Center – that boost residents’ buying power. Additionally, Campbell plans to work with local financial institutions, including black-owned banks, to increase opportunities and to offer diversified mortgage products and other forms of financial assistance for new homebuyers.
Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George
Much like Wu and Campbell, City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George wants to invest and support the One+Boston program and the Boston Home Center. She plans to invest in matched savings programs that make buying affordable for first-generation homebuyers. She would also work to leverage deed restrictions, shares equity programs, and subsidy programs to help residents buy existing housing stock in high-cost neighborhoods to allow for wealth accumulation.
Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston John Barros
Boston’s Chief of Economic Development John Barros intends to address disparities inhomeownership through building on the city’s existing homeownership programs and mortgage products. He wants to use the city’s resources to educate homebuyers on thehomeownership process and direct them to homeownership programs. Barros would support legislation that will tackle discrimination in real estate, and seal eviction records for residents.
As IBA continues to advocate for high-quality, accessible affordable housing, we hope the next mayor remains committed to housing affordability and tackling housing disparities for historically marginalized communities. We will be here along the way to partner with and hold accountable whomever enters office to establish greater homeownership opportunities for Boston residents.
We are proud to be working to develop housing opportunities for low-income households in Boston. For more information on how you can support IBA, please visit our page: http://www.ibaboston.org/donat......