Recently a group of seven organizaitons that work on affordable housing and community development issues joined together to develop a questionare on key issues for the candidates for Mayor of Boston. The seven organizations participating in creating the survey were the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (where I work), The Citizens Housing and Planning Association, The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, The Boston Tenant Coalition, The Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations. Eight candidates responded to the questionaire and you can see their complete responses on the MACDC web site here: http://www.macdc.org/policy/mayoral-candidates-stand-on-housing-issues.
All of the candidates voiced support for building and preserving more affordable housing throughout the City
- All of the candidates articulated the need to meet the housing needs of our diverse population – from homeless individuals and families to young families looking to buy their first home.
- All of the candidates expressed support for promoting green building technologies in new housing developments.
- All of the candidates expressed support for direct city funding of affordable housing through the use of various programs and tools, including Linkage, Inclusionary Development, general appropriations and/or Community Preservation Act funds.
- All the candidates recognized the need to break down silos and support comprehensive neighborhood improvement initiatives.
- All the candidates expressed support for holding banks accountable by making sure they maintain foreclosed properties under their control and by directing City Funds to those banks with strong community investment track records.
- All the candidates expressed support for maintaining robust resident services for seniors living in public housing, despite recent cuts in federal funding.
All of the candidates expressed support for ensuring that local residents and minority or women owned businesses are able to fully participate in the business and job opportunities created by affordable housing development projects. The seven organizations are planning a candidate forum focused on housing and community development issues after the preliminary election.