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This is the official investor relations page for the City of Boston. Managed by the city’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Deputy Treasurer, the City’s Treasury division is responsible for the issuance of all bonds and the City’s investor communications efforts.
The City, incorporated as a town in 1630 and as a city in 1822, exists under Chapter 486 of the Acts of 1909 and Chapter 452 of the Acts of 1948 of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts (the “Commonwealth”) which, as amended, constitute the City’s Charter.
The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the City. Mayor Michelle Wu's term began on November 16, 2021. The Mayor has general supervision of and control over the City’s boards, commissions, officers, and departments. The portion of the City budget covering appropriations for all departments and operations of the City, except the School Department and the Boston Public Health Commission, is prepared under the direction of the Mayor.
The legislative body of the City is the thirteen-member City Council. The City Council enacts ordinances and adopts orders, which the Mayor may either approve or veto. Ordinances and orders, except orders for the borrowing or appropriation of money and the reorganization of City departments, may be enacted by the City Council over the Mayor’s veto by a two-thirds vote. The City Council may reject or reduce a budget submitted to it by the Mayor, but the City Council may not increase a budget.
Mayor Wu's proposed investments in homeownership are part of an unprecedented commitment of $380 million to address housing affordability and stability.
Mayor Michelle Wu today highlighted her proposal to invest $106 million to expand opportunities for homeownership for Boston residents, including $60 million through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and $46 million in City funds over three years. This proposal builds on Mayor Wu’s commitment to prioritize federal funds to address Boston’s housing crisis and boosts the City’s efforts to close the racial wealth gap by expanding affordable homeownership opportunities for BIPOC households and first-generation homebuyers.
“Homeownership is crucial to building generational wealth and long term stability for families,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We have an opportunity to transform what homeownership looks like in Boston. These investments will support existing programs for first time homebuyers, build generational wealth for Boston families, and help bring Boston one step closer to becoming a Green New Deal city.”
The new investments in affordable homeownership were part of Mayor Wu’s first operating budget proposal and federal spending plan, which were formally filed with the Boston City Council earlier this month.
The proposal includes $60 million in ARPA funds to:
In addition, the proposed FY23 Operating Budget includes $3.4 million for homebuyer assistance programs, for a total of $10.2 million over the next three years. These investments are on top of $36 million from other City sources to support MOH’s homeownership development pipeline, which currently includes 312 new income-restricted units across 19 developments, all projected to break ground within the next three years. With additional support from ARPA funds, this pipeline of affordable homeownership units is expected to grow significantly. Together, these funds represent a significant increase in the City’s investment in affordable homeownership programs and production compared to previous years.
The proposed investments in homeownership are part of an unprecedented commitment of $380 million to address housing affordability and stability through the Operating budget, the Capital budget, and federal recovery funds to build and acquire new affordable units, upgrade public housing, and expand housing stability services and an expanded voucher program.
“This significant investment will both increase the stock of affordable properties in Boston and assist families that want to purchase homes in a very competitive market,” said Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing and Director of Neighborhood Development. “In order to increase generational wealth, stabilize our residents and invest in neighborhoods, it is critical that we make additional resources available for homeownership development and programs.”
“We are thrilled that Mayor Wu and our city councilors understand the needs of thousands of MAHA members and graduates,” said Symone Crawford, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance. “And I’m proud of our MAHA community leaders who have worked so diligently to make this happen. This is an amazing accomplishment and a strong foundation for all of us to build on.”
“Investment in affordable housing at all levels matters if we are to foster generational wealth,” said Beverly Williams, Executive Team Leader with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. “GBIO is proud to celebrate this historic investment in affordable housing that does just that.”
Two programs slated to receive funding from the proposal, the ONE+Boston program and the financial assistance program for first-time homebuyers (FAP), assisted more than 150 households buy homes in the last year. Of those households, 60% were Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC).
“Dedicating these federal funds to first-generation and affordable homeownership will anchor our families in Boston and help close the racial wealth gap,” said Councilor Kenzie Bok, Chair of the Committee on COVID-19 Recovery. “I’m thankful for the Mayor’s partnership and for all the advocates who have pushed the City of Boston to make this enduring commitment.”
"We know that the lack of financial capital for closing costs and down payments is one of the most significant barriers to homeownership for BIPOC and first-generation homeowners,” said Councilor Kendra Lara, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Community Development. “This level of investment in the FAP and ONE+ program will ensure that we're removing those barriers and creating more opportunities for housing stability through homeownership for Boston residents."
Boston has an overall homeownership rate of 35 percent, considerably less than the statewide homeownership rate of 62 percent. Homeownership rates differ significantly by race and ethnicity, as 44 percent of Boston’s white households are homeowners, compared to 31 percent of Black or African American households, 30 percent of Asian or Pacific Islander households, and 17 percent of Hispanic or Latinx households.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing works to expand access to homeownership by creating and preserving affordable homeownership units and providing financial assistance to aspiring homebuyers, particularly first-generation homebuyers.
The ONE+Boston program was designed to supplement one of the state’s existing affordable mortgage programs (the ONE Mortgage) by providing qualified buyers, based on area median income (AMI), additional discounts on interest rates. With the ONE+Boston program, qualified Boston residents who earn between 80% and 100% AMI will receive a half percent (0.5%) discount rate off the reduced interest rate offered through the ONE Mortgage product (currently about 4.65%). Boston residents who earn below 80% AMI will receive up to one percent (1%) off of the current ONE Mortgage rate. Qualified buyers will also be eligible for downpayment and closing cost assistance through the Boston Home Center.
The ONE+Boston program and the First Generation Homebuyer Program are two of several City resources available to first-time homebuyers in Boston. Through the Boston Home Center, the City’s one-stop-shop for homebuyers and homeowners, residents receive assistance in purchasing, improving, and keeping their home through a suite of resources including training, financial help and counseling to first-time and first-generation homebuyers, guidance and funding for home improvements and efficiency upgrades, and counseling to help families avoid foreclosure. The Home Center also markets homes developed for income-eligible, first-time homebuyers.
These proposals build on Mayor Wu’s initiatives to address Boston’s housing affordability, including filing a Home Rule Petition relative to real estate transfer fees and senior property tax relief, signing an Executive Order relative to affirmatively furthering fair housing, convening a Rent Stabilization Advisory Committee to inform future legislative proposals, and announcing the City’s new Chief of Planning.
The Mayor’s Office of Housing is responsible for housing people experiencing homelessness, creating and preserving affordable housing, and ensuring that renters and homeowners can obtain, maintain, and remain in safe, stable housing. The department develops and implements the City of Boston’s housing creation and homelessness prevention plans and collaborates with local and national partners to find new solutions and build more housing affordable to all, particularly those with lower incomes. For more information, please visit the MOH website.
The budget, in partnership with federal ARPA funds, reflects the clear call for transformative action to support affordable housing, landmark investments in mental health, early education and childcare, arts, climate resiliency, and initiatives to close Boston’s racial wealth gap.
Mayor Michelle Wu today proposed her administration’s first budget, with coordinated resources to set a foundation for the future, connect Boston’s communities, and deliver on the details of City services across all neighborhoods. The recommended Fiscal Year 2023 Operating Budget is $3.99 billion, representing new growth of $216 million or 5.7% over Fiscal Year 2022, and the Fiscal Years 2023-2027 Capital Plan totals $3.6 billion of neighborhood infrastructure investments. Mayor Wu also unveiled her plan to connect $350 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to accelerate a Green New Deal for Boston through major investments to leverage the operating and capital budgets, focusing on affordable housing, mental health, climate resiliency, early education and childcare, arts, and economic opportunity to bridge Boston’s racial wealth gap.
“In this moment of urgency and opportunity for Boston, our recommended budget ties together our shared resources to set a foundation for the future, connect our communities, and deliver on the details of City services across our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we emerge from the pandemic, this budget charts a course towards our brightest future for our children, for our communities, for Boston. I’m so excited to be building that future together.”
Mayor Wu’s first budget proposal comes in the first year of a new balance of budgetary power with the City Council. For the first time, Mayor Wu and the Office of Budget Management (OBM) hosted a series of listening sessions in partnership with the Boston City Council to engage residents on the budget process and solicit public feedback, ahead of the Mayor submitting each to the City Council. Through these listening sessions and a citywide survey in 12 languages, the City directly engaged with over a thousand residents over the last three months to guide budget drafting. The budget proposal reflects the clear call from residents for transformative action to support Boston’s people, neighborhoods, and City services.
The Recommended FY23 Operating Budget comes a month after Boston received AAA bond ratings from both rating agencies for the eighth year in a row. These ratings are a recognition of the City’s strong fiscal management before and during the pandemic, despite its significant impact on the City. The ratings will allow the City to secure the most favorable rates for infrastructure investments to support equity, affordability, and resiliency in every neighborhood.
“Mayor Wu’s FY23 Budget submission centers residents' voices in its investments while maintaining strong fiscal responsibility that has earned Boston high marks for financial management,” said Justin Sterritt, Chief Financial Officer for the City of Boston. “The strategic use of the Operating Budget, Capital Plan and Federal ARPA funding together will unlock transformational investments that will have deep impacts for communities in Boston.''
The budget, through the multiple funding sources, proposes targeted impact in key areas including:
The budget works in concert with $350 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to accelerate a Green New Deal for Boston. Mayor Wu’s proposal for ARPA funds builds on the $95 million in federal funding for emergency relief for residents, financial support for small businesses, and the two-year fare-free bus pilot. The proposal includes:
The proposals for the spending of federal funds and revenue replacement was formally filed with the City Council on Monday with the annual submission of the operating budget and capital plan.
The capital investments in the upcoming bond sale will fund affordable housing, climate resiliency, civic assets and education infrastructure.