The City Council today approved holding a hearing to figure out ways to keep longtime Roxbury residents from being forced out of their homes as developers increasingly snap up local parcels.
Councilor Kim Janey (Roxbury) said housing prices in Roxbury rose at twice the rate of the rest of the city between 2010 and 2015 and that she now regularly hears from constituents who are being forced to move, either from apartments or because the only affordable homes they can find are in places such as Randolph or Brockton.
In seeking to avoid what happened in other neighborhoods, such as South Boston and Chinatown, she said Roxbury is particularly vulnerable to gentrification because some 81% of its residents are renters, rather than homeowners.
Janey said she wants to look at "new and innovative ways" to create more affordable housing so that longtime residents can stay even as new people move in - as well as looking at just what "affordable" means in a city like Boston.
She said she also wants to look at possibly tying new property-tax income to affordable housing creation. For example, she said the new One Dalton tower in the Back Bay will mean $10 million a year in new tax revenue. "That's 1,000 affordable units," she said.