In response to the city of Boston’s housing market challenges, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) has adopted an executive order to expedite affordable housing development. The ruling makes it easier for the projects to go through the approval process.
Before this order was in place, it could take upwards of 337 days to approve a single affordable housing project. These delays were harmful to the city’s economy and Boston’s residents.
The plan involves removing barriers so that the process takes much less time. It will include efforts to expedite the procedures for reviewing and addressing zoning issues.
The procedures to improve the project approval process include the following:
- Shorter and more efficient project approval processes
- Prioritizing the review of projects
- Addressing current zoning issues more quickly and efficiently
- Organizing a new way of keeping track of tasks and timelines
The city must change the Boston Zoning Code, streamlining the affordable housing process. This approach should result in much faster construction of housing developments.
In addition, the order calls for cooperation between all government agencies (BPDA, Zoning commission, Mayor’s office of housing, and others).
Further, it asks all participants to attend meetings and work together to prioritize and expedite the approval of proposals for affordable housing developments around the city.
The order also establishes a committee overseeing the old process’s overhaul. Having this oversight committee will ensure that, from now on, submitted proposals go through the proper channels in a reasonable amount of time.