Mayor Michelle Wu today announced a set of proposals to make substantial changes to Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP) and the commercial Linkage Policy that will enable Boston to support its growing population and ensure the city is a place where families of all income levels can afford to live. These changes will increase Boston’s supply of affordable housing while maintaining the City’s position as an attractive market for real estate development. Mayor Wu’s strategy for inclusive growth will lower barriers to development and create a more predictable development timeline. Together, the package of actions will enable development that allows the city to grow equitably and inclusively.
“We are using every tool that the City has to urgently address Boston’s housing crisis,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “By directing public and private resources from development toward our shared vision of a Boston for everyone, we are taking necessary steps to ensure Boston remains a place that current residents, families and future generations can call home. I’m grateful to this team and our partners for their work to continue prioritizing affordability for residents in our city’s continued growth.”
Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP)
Under an Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP), developers of market-rate residential developments are required to support the creation of affordable housing in exchange for zoning relief, Under the current IDP, developments with ten or more units in need of zoning relief support the creation of income-restricted housing through on-site units, off-site units, or through payment to an IDP Fund managed by the Mayor’s Office of Housing. The IDP requirements were last updated in December 2015. In January 2021, the Massachusetts State Legislature approved a Home Rule Petition that allows Boston to codify inclusionary development into the zoning code. The Mayor’s proposed changes are aimed at directing a larger share of resources from