Boston Should Pass the Community Preservation Act 

Boston Should Pass the Community Preservation Act 

A statement from our CEO:

[caption id="attachment_4366" align="alignright" width="300"]Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD Chief Executive Officer, IBA – Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, PhD. Chief Executive Officer IBA – Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción[/caption]

In the affordable housing sector, one of the most important measures people are watching right now is the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Mayor Marty Walsh unequivocally threw his support behind the CPA in a well-attended press conference in City Hall Plaza on April 27, 2016. It is now Boston City Council’s term to vote to put this measure on the November ballot, and it is a measure that I passionately support.

For those unfamiliar with it, the CPA would add a small one percent surcharge to property taxes, all of which would go towards affordable housing, parks and historic preservation. Throughout Massachusetts, 160 towns and cities have adopted this measure since it was enacted in 2000. Here are a few reasons why Boston residents should opt into the program:

  • To date, more than $1.6 billion has been raised through CPA funding in the state. Boston would generate an additional $20 million per year.
  • The CPA has created or supported more than 9,400 affordable housing units statewide. At a time when hard-working middle-income families are increasingly being priced out of Boston, additional support is critical for our city.
  • The CPA is a driving force for economic growth. It creates jobs and attracts tourists, which generates additional tax revenue for the city and state.
  • The CPA would lead to the creation of more safe and clean open spaces. This is not only beneficial for residents, but it’s good for attracting and retaining businesses. The more aesthetically appealing a city, the more companies are likely to invest and grow in it.
  • A small increase on property taxes can result in a 30 percent match from the state for every local dollar. This means that Boston has missed out on as much as $300 million in additional state funding in the past 15 years. Imagine what our city could have done with this significant investment.

Now more than ever, Boston needs all the tools it can use to preserve and expand affordable housing for middle- and low-income families while preserving open space and our historic sites. I encourage the Boston City Council to put the Community Preservation Act on the November ballot, and hope the people of Boston will vote to enact it.