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Boston Banks $1.35M to Support a Housing Innovation Lab
Nick DeLuca | BostInno


Image via Creative Commons/ amy gizienski (CC BY 2.0)

Mayor Marty Walsh announced Monday that Boston is one of 12 U.S. cities awarded a grant for Bloomberg Philanthropies' Innovation Teams program. The $1.35 million will be dispersed over a three year period and be used to support a Housing Innovation Lab as part of the mayor's sweeping Boston 2030 housing strategy.


“We must do everything possible to ensure that everyone who wants to help make Boston a better place can afford to live here,” said Mayor Walsh in a statement. "Potential partners surround us, from local architects to world-leading colleges and universities. The Housing Innovation Lab will help us strengthen these partnerships and create new ones to help us solve Boston’s housing challenges.”


News of the grant comes less than a week after Walsh addressed the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, in which he made note of his plan to implement transit-oriented workforce housing along the Red and Orange Lines. Approximately 20,000 housing units of the overall goal of 53,000 could come from these two "growth zones."


The growth zones are intended to be a way of retaining young talent by offering them affordable living spaces with optimal access to public transportation while also bringing density to the spaces between Broadway and Andrew Stations along the Red Line, and Jackson Square and Forest Hills along the Orange Line.


According to the City of Boston, the Housing Innovation Lab will work in-house as "innovation consultants" out of the Office of New Urban Mechanics and Department of Neighborhood Development. Personnel of these "i-teams" will be charged with establishing public-private partnerships to foster housing growth without sacrificing affordability.


The i-team isn't expected to be formed until spring 2015 at the latest.


BostInno reached out to City Hall to get a better idea of who will comprise these i-teams, how they'll be chosen and what their specific goals will be. We'll be sure to update the article upon receiving a response.