A constrained supply and high cost of housing have the greatest impact on lower-income households. These households already pay a significant share of income toward housing. Within this universe of cost-burdened households, renters face greater challenges than those who own their homes. In Greater Boston, nearly half of renter households are paying more than 30% of their gross income in rent. For extremely low-income households, housing costs burdens are so extreme that even a small increase in rent or the loss of hourly wages could lead to an inability to pay rent and set up a spiral into homelessness.
Our vision for the Neighborhoods and Housing strategy is that all residents of Greater Boston will have access to safe, affordable, quality homes in healthy, thriving neighborhoods. Residents will have increased options for renting and owning homes in all communities of Greater Boston. They will have supports to help them find affordable homes, keep their homes, and increase their assets.
We do this with a focus on two strategies described in detail below: Increasing the supply of available housing, and improving housing stability and access.
Neighborhoods and Housing also collaborates with Boston Indicators to produce the annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card. The report uses research and data to highlight housing metrics and proposes impactful policy solutions.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the police brutality and killings of Black people, Neighborhoods and Housing is aligning it’s grantmaking and efforts to address social justice and racial equity in housing. In particular, we will aim to address housing impacts on BIPOC households with programs and policies that disrupt decades of housing discrimination and also create housing-related pathways for economic mobility.
To reform the systems that impede regional housing production and fill affordable housing gaps for underserved populations.
To support programs and policies that help individuals and families find and maintain suitable affordable housing and support services.
To support community-level planning, policy development and programs to ensure that residents of communities have access to services and investments that are priorities to them.
Our goal for this strategy is to reform the systems that impede regional housing production and fill affordable housing gaps for underserved populations, such as low and extremely low income households with children.
The Boston Foundation supports organizations that advocate for land use reform at the state and municipal level and who organize and educate diverse stakeholders to also participate in this process. In addition to advocacy, the Foundation participates in affordable housing production initiatives that fill gaps within the existing system.
We support the following activities in pursuit of this vision:
For our Housing Stability and Access strategy, our goal is to support programs and policies that help individuals and families find and maintain suitable affordable housing and support services. We support pathways between healthcare and housing to better serve low income households to achieve better health outcomes.
For low income households, the struggle to find or maintain affordable housing can be an insurmountable challenge. The Boston Foundation promotes investments in services that help households achieve housing stability and avoid homelessness, and creates a pathway for improved health, educational and economic outcomes.
Our goal for this strategy is to support community-level planning, policy development and programs to ensure that residents of communities have access to services and investments that are priorities to them, particularly in the areas of equitable housing development, tenant organizing and eviction prevention.