Boston’s Land Audit
Lawyers for Civil Rights Applauds and Encourages the City’s Effort to Identify Public Land that Can Be Used to Promote Housing Justice
On June 15, 2022, Mayor Michelle Wu released a highly anticipated report on the audit of city-owned land in Boston. The report, which links to an interactive map of municipal real estate holdings, is a triumph of public transparency and an important step toward combating the City’s affordable housing crisis.
Boston’s skyrocketing rent and real estate prices negatively and disproportionately affect communities of color. The racial home ownership gap continues to widen and the onslaught of gentrification is forcing many from their homes. Researchers recently found that, between 2013 and 2017, Boston was the third most “intensely gentrified” city in America. Against this backdrop, the City’s report expresses a commitment to promoting housing justice through public land use, including by “identifying locations that can be developed into new affordable units.” This is critical to prevent greater displacement and disruption at the community level.
Lawyers for Civil Rights applauds this effort and encourages the City of Boston to use public land for the benefit of all Bostonians, particularly our most vulnerable residents. The City has a long way to go to achieve housing equity, but this report is a promising step in the right direction.