The City of Boise was recently accepted into the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative's Innovation Track as a partner to build our city and community's capacity to lead, innovate, collaborate and engage in a way that will advance Mayor McLean's goal to create a City for Everyone. As part of this initiative, the City of Boise has committed to develop solutions that address the issue of long-term housing affordability. This week Mayor Lauren McLean kicked off the program with the participants, including several team members from the City of Boise and members of the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
"Cities will be better coming out of the pandemic, but only if they use this time to find solutions and innovate," said Mayor Lauren McLean. "That's why we joined the Bloomberg-Harvard team, to learn new tools, new ways to think, and new ways to engage residents."
Boise will learn innovative approaches to understand and tackle this complex problem, generate ideas, and create new solutions for residents. Governments across the nation are continually facing challenges, with fewer resources and higher expectations. Tackling housing affordability will not be easy. It will take agility, creativity and an intentional focus, but with support and partnership from this program, Boise can take a leading role and other cities can learn from the solutions.
The Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative team will support our city's effort to develop and implement new solutions, guided by world-class experts and faculty members who will provide coaching and mentorship. Their goal is to help cities learn how to adopt cutting-edge innovation techniques that engage residents in testing, adapting, and scaling creative ideas that can have lasting impact.
A core team of 12 city staff members were chosen to participate in the program. The cross departmental team was chosen for their collective commitment to innovation and represents a diverse cross section of our organization.
Boise is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that there is a place to live for every resident, at every budget, throughout our community. The city is creating partnerships, incentives and bonuses for responsible growth, as well as rewriting code to create a city that works for everyone.
Along with new and innovative solutions, the program will help our city leverage existing programs like the Community Housing Land Trust. That program uses city-owned property to help create housing for residents at all income levels and ensure that it remains affordable into the future.
We've already taken significant steps towards creating a city where all residents can afford a place to live. In partnership with the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership's Innovation Track and their team, Boise will go even further.