When I ran for mayor, I knew I wanted to make Boston a city where every resident can afford to live, work and raise a family. Since I’ve been elected, Boston has grown -- fast. Our population is expanding rapidly and we’re expected to reach over 700,000 residents by 2030. Our tech sector is booming, and the construction of our commercial and residential buildings are reaching new heights. While I’m excited about our economic growth, increasing investment and the new jobs arriving in our neighborhoods, we also need to make sure we are meeting the needs of every family in Boston.
In early July the Legislature enacted a $38.1 billion state budget for fiscal year 2016. The spending plan prioritizes funding for education, housing assistance, behavioral health, substance abuse, and critical services and programs for our most vulnerable residents in the Commonwealth. The plan includes $4.5 billion for education funding and $18.6 million for kindergarten expansion grants. Funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) increased by $17.9 million and will allow for the creation of approximately 764 new mobile vouchers, helping families move from emergency assistance housing to permanent housing. In addition, through sponsored and cosponsored amendments and collaborative efforts with my colleagues, I was able to secure funding for programs that are of utmost importance to me and my constituents.
Finally, there's good news for seniors who own their own homes and want to stay in JP. On Tuesday, Mayor Marty Walsh signed a "home rule petition" to give tax deferrals to long-term home owners. It could be part of a solution for some in the battle against rising property costs. So how does this affect qualifying residents of JP? Well, if passed in the state legislature, qualifying long-term homeowners will be able to more easily afford remaining in their homes by deferring property taxes.