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Boston City Council to consider housing vouchers to stem gentrification in Roxbury

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It’s one possible solution to slow the displacement of longtime residents


The Boston City Council plans to host a hearing on ways to stem what one member says is a tide of gentrification about to sweep Roxbury.

Councilor Kim Janey, a Roxbury resident, says that the neighborhood is particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of gentrification because more than 8 in 10 residents rents rather than owns.

The median monthly housing cost in Roxbury is $1,035, according to census data, and the median household income there is $30,278.

Janey has proposed protections for current Roxbury residents that include a city-funded voucher program to pay for housing in the neighborhood. Higher property taxes, particularly on all those new luxury condos about town, would fund the program.

This idea and others—including tying such property-tax hikes to affordable-housing creation—are presumably set for a public vetting at the unscheduled hearing, which the council approved on September 12. Stay tuned.