- On December 16, 2015
- In Editorial
2015 a Year of Progress for our City
As the year comes to an end we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the advances that we have made as a city, ranging from housing, to education, workforce development, and more. At IBA, we strive to provide affordable housing for our community, we consider it the foundation of the rest of our programs which all contribute to improve the quality of life of every individual. In our fight to expand affordable housing in the city, we joined a special task force along with Mayor Walsh to create a long-term plan to increase the options for housing; currently the demand for affordable housing is extremely higher than the existing units. This year Boston has set out to build 53,000 new housing units by 2030, a milestone which marks the start of an important journey towards giving every family a comfortable home. [caption id="attachment_3472" align="aligncenter" width="694"] Villa Victoria[/caption] As far as education, the high school graduation rate increased to 82 percent nationwide, but Massachusetts actually saw a higher increase than the national average with a rate of 86.2. The data also shows that achievement gaps are narrowing. This means that more people have access to a quality education, and that our school system has seen statewide improvement. [caption id="attachment_4474" align="alignnone" width="701"] Children graduating from IBA's Preschool[/caption] Unemployment rates also saw a positive a change this year in Massachusetts, dropping to 4.6 percent, lower than the national average of 5 percent. And, although the rate did not drop further, our state added 11,000 new jobs in the month of October. Boston, specifically, has seen an even more significant drop with a low unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. With a minimum wage of $9.00 an hour, set to be raised January 1st next year to $10.00, and such a low unemployment rate, 2015 gives us a reason to think we’re on the right path. We hope to keep on making strides towards economic stability and equality across all neighborhoods of our city in 2016. Boston youth also experienced some important achievements. They fought for youth job funding, making plans to change policy and expand the budget allotted for youth jobs in the city. They also obtained a youth pass which they can use for a significantly reduced fare on public transportation. [caption id="attachment_1909" align="alignright" width="400"] Members of IBA's Youth Program[/caption] These are just some of the highlights that have marked Boston in 2015. We are so proud to be part of the positive changes and will continue to work hard towards advancement in the coming year. Happy holidays and thank you for making Boston such a wonderful place to live in. We have taken big steps, but there is still a lot more to be done. Help us continue this mission in 2016 with all of our programs focusing on development and the arts. Donate here....