Housing affordability remains top of mind for residents across our city, and the City of Boise is committed to providing a place to live for everyone who chooses to call Boise home. We know that too many Boiseans are struggling to stay in their homes, while others are unable to find a home within their budget. While we’ve been focused on investing funds into our community through federal programs, we know that there is more to be done.
City of Boise staff engaged with the community – both in person and virtually – to talk with residents and hear firsthand the impacts of housing affordability on them, their families, and their neighbors.
The format of this series was focused on understanding the current pain points in our community and providing an opportunity for residents to share personal experiences, brainstorm ideas, and provide recommendations for the city moving forward. Key themes in each discussion included:
1. Listen + Share City of Boise Housing Priorities
Understanding that our community is facing a housing crisis, the City of Boise is committed to listening to our residents, and better understanding their needs around housing. Based on continued conversations and data, the city has identified three priority areas to maximize impact: produce new housing where the market is not meeting the needs, preserve units already in existence that serve lower-income households, and house the unhoused.
The tools the City of Boise is using to impact the affordable housing crisis, which were shared with participants, include:
A. Housing Land Trust
B. Investment in permanent supportive housing
C. Preserve current affordable housing
2. Moveable Tiny Home + ADU Pilot Program
The Office of Innovation and Design partnered with the Harvard-Bloomberg Innovation Track team to establish a pilot program focusing on moveable tiny homes and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Currently, moveable tiny homes are not allowed in Boise City Code; however, the pilot would allow for a few to be permitted within the city to determine if it’s the right tool for us to add to how we are impacting housing affordability and availability. ADUs are currently allowed in certain zones; however, the pilot program would assist members of the community who want to build an ADU and rent it out at an affordable rate. The city would provide resources, reduction in costs, help with permitting, etc., to incentivize residents to participate.
This report presents the results for the first and second series of Community Conversations organized by the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Community Engagement. The engagement spanned from October – December 2021 and was used to collect feedback and recommendations from Boise residents on the current landscape of housing in our community.