Boston Launches Housing Innovation Lab

The lab will explore ideas for reducing the cost of building, buying and owning homes, according to the mayor’s office.

by Citiscope / October 26, 2015
Houses in central Boston Flickr/Sharemomentssharelife

How can a major U. S. city make housing affordable at all economic levels? For Boston, the answer is simple: Head to the lab.

Mayor Martin Walsh has announced the launch of a Housing Innovation Lab that will seek solutions to this vexing municipal problem. The lab is tasked with identifying ways to reduce the costs of building, buying and owning homes in the city, according to the mayor’s office.

Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development will collaborate with the lab, an offshoot of the mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. The housing lab will solicit ideas and other feedback from both Boston residents and housing experts.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is providing initial funding for the lab. Boston is one of a dozen cities to receive grants from the philanthropy to establish “i-teams,” or innovation teams. Boston’s i-team will oversee the housing lab for the next 18 months, the announcement says.