Mayor Wu today unveiled her first budget for the Boston, for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
Included in the proposal are amounts for new projects based on some $350 million in federal Covid-19 relief, including a number aimed at energy efficiency and dealing with climate change:
- $206 million for housing stability, affordable homeownership and financial assistance to first-generation homebuyers, strategic acquisitions to combat displacement, and deeply-affordable housing creation on City-owned land; a nation-leading pilot to advance energy efficiency in triple deckers and other multi-family homes while maintaining affordability; and upgrades to public housing units across five sites for air quality, energy efficiency, and health;
- $34 million for economic opportunity and inclusion, to grow BIPOC-owned businesses, further invest in Main Street business districts, expand tuition-free community college and workforce training programs, and create a commercial rental rebate program to support small business recovery and build wealth in Boston neighborhoods;
- $31.5 million for climate-focused investments, including expanding the Green Youth Jobs program, creating walking and biking infrastructure, growing and preserving our urban tree canopy, strengthening our local food systems, and supporting electrification of the City vehicle and school bus fleet;
- $20 million for transformative arts and culture investments that will facilitate placemaking and strengthen both downtown and our neighborhood communities;
- $20 million to ensure an equitable response to the ongoing pandemic by supporting critical COVID-19 vaccination efforts, ongoing testing, community engagement, and continued collaboration with community-based organizations and community health centers;
- $18 million to tackle behavioral health and substance use disorder challenges;
- $15 million for investments in Boston’s early education and childcare system, including growing the early educator workforce and streamlining access and enrollment for Boston families; and
- $5 million for evaluation and equitable administration, to support language access, establish an equity framework, and ensure strong compliance with federal guidelines.
Wu filed details of the proposal with the City Council, which, for the first time, gets a direct say in what the final budget looks like. Previously, the council could reject department budgets, but not make any changes in them.