The final Boston budget approved on June 30, increased the City Rent Subsidy Program to $9.75 million/year! This is a major victory for the CRSC and MAHT—we had advocated to increase the $5 million pilot program, by doubling it this year!
Mayor Wu had originally requested $7.5 million/year in her budget, an increase of $2.5 million but short of the CRSC goal. On June 6, the Council voted to increase this, to $10m and offset the extra cost with cuts to the Fire and Police Departments. The Mayor vetoed the police cuts and responded back with a $9.35 million offer.
Last week, the Council voted—unanimously--to override the Mayor's veto for the City Rent Subsidy Program, by adding back $400,000 above the Mayor’s offer. The new total is $4.75 million more than the original pilot program—enough to provide permanent housing for up to 975 extremely low income and/or homeless families!!
Thanks to all CRSC members who lobbied the Council to win this victory! On the Council, we owe particular thanks to Councilor Bok, who crafted the creative “offset” that was partially adopted by the Mayor, along with Councilor Lara; Councilor Anderson, who shepherded the partial veto override with the Subsidy increase through the Council; and Councilor Louijeunne, who was a tireless and vocal advocate for the Subsidy program throughout the Council’s “working sessions”. In the end, ALL the Councilors voted to support the Subsidy Program veto override!!
The final vote also included language prioritizing utilizing City Rent Subsidies to deepen affordability of the City’s IDP moderate income housing units—a point CRSC members John Labella and Michael Kane emphasized in testimony before the Council.