Recognizing his city’s future housing needs Mayor Martin Walsh released “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030,” a plan hatched in 2014 that identified the problem and proposed ways to solve it. In 2018 the plan was updated by setting new goals for affordable housing production. The goals focus on preserving neighborhoods, preventing displacement, and increasing home-ownership. Walsh helped usher in the Housing Innovation Lab, and a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team funded it in 2017.

The lab has been working on nine projects and initiatives aimed at providing the 53,000 units of housing required to meet the city’s housing needs. Topics being explored include compact liv-ing, plug-in housing, housing with public assets, an Intergenerational Homeshare pilot program, an Additional Dwelling Unit pilot program, the Urban Housing Unit Roadshow, the Housing In-novation Competition, a Density Bonus pilot, and programming dedicated to simplifying the home buying process.

To execute this plan, the city is developing a comprehensive strategy that outlines both short-term and long-term deliverables by tracking progress toward the goals using scorecards. The plan also lays out a roadmap for increasing housing production for low-income, non-elderly households by 50 percent and creating 6,500 affordable housing units while ensuring that 1,700 of them are accessible to extremely low-income households.