Boise joins Bloomberg-Harvard program to develop solutions for housing affordability


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Mayor Lauren McLean is look to the experts to find solutions for Boise’s growing housing crisis.

On Friday, the City of Boise announced its acceptance into the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s Innovation track to work on solutions for affordable housing and other goals. The program is a joint venture from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Harvard University to provide training for mayors and high-ranking city officials. Over the course of a year, accepted cities will work with each participating city on the “advancement of key capabilities” in their local government.

[‘Is there a house I can buy for that?’ How a local nonprofit helps add more affordable housing]

“Cities will be better coming out of the pandemic, but only if they use this time to find solutions and innovate,” McLean said in a press release. “That’s why we joined the Bloomberg-Harvard team, to learn new tools, new ways to think, and new ways to engage residents.”

Experts and Harvard faculty working with the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership program will support the city’s effort to develop and implement new housing affordability programs. Mentorship and coaching will also be provided to twelve selected city staff members will be participating. The names of the city staffers were not included in the release, but it said they were from multiple departments.

“Boise is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that there is a place to live for every resident, at every budget, throughout our community,” the release said. “The city is creating partnerships, incentives and bonuses for responsible growth, as well as rewriting code to create a city that works for everyone.”

The City of Boise is working on a variety of programs for housing affordability and is pursuing $17 million in housing projects through fiscal year 2022. This includes creating an affordable housing land trust to use city-owned property for housing development, a housing incentive for units targeted for ‘extremely low-income’ renters and a proposed housing bonus ordinance to push more density in turn for some benefits.

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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