Presented by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies
Since taking office in 2014, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has made his mark in Boston and, increasingly, on the national stage as well. A former leader of Boston’s construction trade unions who also served as a state representative, Walsh has made housing and community development central to his efforts to ensure that Boston is a “thriving, healthy, and innovative” city with “equality and opportunity for all.”
In 2014, the new administration released “Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030,” which stated that Boston needed to create 53,000 housing units to accommodate the city’s growing population. The city is expected to soon top 700,000 people for the first time since the 1950s and, in keeping with this plan, had permitted almost 20,000 new units by 2016 and was reviewing plans for about 20,000 more.
The city, which built a state-of- the-art shelter for homeless people, is also developing strategies to effectively end chronic homelessness and has launched Imagine Boston 2030, which will produce Boston’s first comprehensive plan in over 50 years.
In addition, the Walsh administration has undertaken notable efforts to keep Boston at the forefront of the global innovation economy, to strengthen its schools, expand opportunities for historically disadvantaged communities, improve police-community relations, and address Boston’s troubled history of race relations.
In recent months, Mayor Walsh has also emerged as an important voice in national debates about immigration and other key federal policies and programs that could greatly affect residents, neighborhoods and communities in Boston and other cities.
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