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Mayor Walsh pledges $39m for less-costly housing

Money will fund 1,194 units in city

Mayor Martin J. Walsh aims to add more than 20,000 moderate-income homes by 2030. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

As developers continue to churn out luxury housing at a record clip, Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Monday said that his administration will spend $39 million to increase the supply of affordable- and middle-income units in Boston.

The money will help create or preserve 1,194 affordable units in 22 residential developments from Dorchester to downtown, according to the mayor’s Department of Neighborhood Development.

While that will put only a small dent in Boston’s affordability problem, the amount represents the most the city has allocated to build lower-cost housing in recent years.

“We can talk about this all we want, but we have to invest in building more affordable housing,” Walsh said in an interview Monday. “A lot of people have been priced out of Boston in recent decades, and this will give more people an opportunity to stay in our city.”


Walsh is trying to make good on a pledge to significantly increase Boston’s supply of affordable and moderate-income housing by 2030. The mayor has set a goal of building more than 20,000 moderate-income homes by that year, along with another 8,000 affordable units.

As part of that effort, city officials are encouraging developers to experiment with smaller unit sizes, which can help to reduce rents and ownership prices. Several developers are beginning to build compact one- and two-bedroom apartments that rent for several hundred dollars less than traditional units that are priced as much as $4,000 a month.

Walsh noted Monday that the city is also searching for more sites where it could build large, densely packed projects to increase production.

The funding announced Monday will support construction of $614 million worth of developments across the city, with the money coming from city and federal housing funds.

Walsh said the money will help create 196 units for homeless or extremely low-income residents.


Among the projects to receive funding are a 239-unit project at North Station that will include affordable and moderate-income units; an 80-unit rental building in the Charlestown Navy Yard; and an 87-unit rental and condominium building adjacent to the Ashmont Red Line Station in Dorchester. Other projects are in Roxbury, East Boston, Mission Hill, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and South Boston.