Lydia Edwards joined the North End / Waterfront Neighborhood Council meeting on Monday, February 12, to provide city council updates and answer questions from attendees. Watch the full video here and follow along with the summary below.
(0:13) Lydia Edwards is the Chair of Housing and Community Development for the City of Boston and has been appointed to the “linkage fund”. If developers choose not to put affordable units in a building (13% is required), they can pay into this fund. Edwards is now one of the trustees who votes on where this money goes – job creation and training or affordable housing.
(1:06) Edwards believes the housing policy in the city should be three-fold:
1. Building – hold developers to standards that are sustainable, environmentally friendly and reflect the character of our neighborhoods.
2. Protecting our neighborhoods – make sure current residents aren’t pushed out in the rush to build.
3. Ownership – create more owners of all generations to stabilize neighborhoods. Provide opportunities for rent-to-own to expand our economic diversity.
(4:59) Short-term rentals – In response to an earlier question, the 90-day limit was set because it was thought of as a tipping point for what would make people select AirBnB as opposed to renting out long term.
(6:10) The proposed AirBnB ordinance doesn’t have a notice component. Edwards would like to see this amended so that community members receive a notice that their neighbor has a license to have an AirBnB.
Editor’s Note: A public hearing was held regarding the short-term rentals ordinance on Tuesday, February 13. You can watch the hearing here.
(8:15) The possibility of parking fees – some people feel this is another form of taxation, others worry about an over abuse with free permits. Edwards will be at the hearing on this as part of the committee for Planning, Development and Transportation.
(11:03) Edwards addresses concerns about the rat population and garbage situation in the North End.