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Election roundup: Barros, Essaibi George release housing plans; mayoral forum tonight

John Barros, who worked to increase affordable housing in Roxbury and Dorchester as head of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, released an affordable-housing plan that includes a transfer tax on property transactions to fund more housing, reducing regulatory requirements on construction of affordable-housing units, turning over more city land for building affordable units, increasing the number of affordable units developers have to include in their market-rate projects and working towards greater investment in the city's public-housing complexes.

He would also work towards more community land trusts that would buy land for housing, get colleges to build more on-campus student housing to free up apartments in the community, try to get hospitals to begin building housing as a public-health issue and increase the amount of artist work/live spaces. Absent: Any talk of rent stabilization or rent control; Michelle Wu has called for rent stabilization.

Annissa Essaibi George released a housing plan, too. She says she's focused on people who make too much for public housing but not enough for market-rate housing, and specifically mentions artists, housing for LGBTQIA+ and older residents with disabilities and says she would boost funding for city programs that help residents, in particular in minority communities, buy a home through such steps as mortgage subsides and "share equity" programs. She would also offer subsidies and zoning incentives to home builders .

She also calls for turning over more city land for construction of "deeply affordable homes," work to renovate more units in the city's public-housing complexes, change the "median income" tables the city now uses to determine what "affordable" is, and increase the percentage of affordable units market-rate developers have to provide from the current 13% to 20%.

Essaibi George would also create a city planning department separate from the BPDA, and create a City Hall czar, or chief, in charge of this new department, the existing Department of Neighborhood Development, ISD and the BPDA.

As with Barros, she does not propose rent stabilization or control.

Non housing specific

Barros tells the state Education Secretary to keep his grubby hands off that federal emergency aid meant for BPS.

His threat to block hundreds of millions of dollars in federal emergency relief from struggling students shows great disregard for the challenges Boston children and families are facing in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Mayoral candidates will be in a Zoom forum this evening, sponsored by JP Progressives, Mijente, NAACP and Right to the City Vote. Starts at 7 p.m. Free registration required.

The Ward 4 and 5 Democratic Committees host a forum for at-large candidates on Thursday, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. Free registration required.

State Rep. Liz Miranda (Roxbury, Dorchester) has endorsed Ruthzee Louijeune for one of the four at-large council seats.

Ruthzee has been a part of my life for a long time, and I know that she is going to lead with integrity and be a strong representative of our community values in City Hall. She stands by resident-led leadership and will be an advocate for what the people of our city want and deserve. We both know what it is like to be Black women in Boston, come from immigrant communities, and work our way through public schools. Ruthzee will use that experience to be a strong advocate for the people of Boston on the city council.

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Comments

Essaibi-George has deep ties to the real estate industry, right? Real shocking that she wants to turn over city land to private developers. Hard pass.

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Is anybody running not to be a strong advocate for the people of Boston on the city council?

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I think she also wants to pass a rule that you have to call any cop 'sir' when you see one.

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How about someone releasing a plan to address reducing crime and in particular deals with shootings and stubbings.

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How about you check the data? The violent crime rate has gone down every year since 2006.

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