“Building Boston for All means ensuring that all our residents and families have access to safe, affordable housing in our communities.”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu met on Thursday with President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce James E. Rooney. Jonathan Wiggs / Global Staff

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said on Thursday she would sign a decree to prioritize city permits for affordable housing, with the aim of changing the zoning code to cut approval time for such projects in half.

“Building Boston for All means ensuring that all our residents and families have access to safe and affordable housing in our communities,” Wu said in a statement. “By streamlining the schedule of affordable housing projects, we will identify ways to increase the predictability of our processes across all projects to keep our city green and growing.”

Wu announced the order in speeches at the annual Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s “Government Affairs Forum”. Her office said it plans to sign it in the coming days.

Overall, the measure aims to significantly reduce the length of the city’s complex approval process of affordable housing developments.

The process, as it stands, could take almost a year – or 337 days – to complete, according to the Wu administration. Wu’s executive order aims to cut that time by as much as 50 percent.

In particular, Wu will instruct the Boston Planning and Development Agency to investigate and recommend changes to Art. 80 of the Boston Land Development Code to “establish an alternative route to review low-cost housing,” officials said in a press release.

“The new process will include community involvement and a thorough review of agencies, but also establish a clear and accelerated timeframe,” officials said. “The contract requires that any review processes currently required do not take place if there has been prior community involvement in the disposition of City or BPDA-owned land that is being proposed for an inexpensive housing development.”

Additionally, the city will set up an Advisory Committee on Affordable Housing Review to explore how City Hall can speed up the approval and permit processes.

“This ordinance will require city departments to prioritize the review of affordable housing estates and create new processes that will improve our work and the work of our development partners,” City Housing Director Sheila Dillon said in a statement. “We know that access to affordable housing helps to stabilize the lives of those who get it – by giving them budgetary predictability and allowing them to take root in our neighborhoods. This hierarchy is right. “

The BPDA will also look at the challenges posed by the development of zoning laws and publish a report with potential changes that encourage affordable housing “while minimizing the need for differences or other burdens that allow these projects,” officials said.

Moreover, the regulation mandates nine city agencies to “give immediate priority to accessible status on all meeting schedules”.

“It also directs these agencies to assess existing review requirements to identify those that can be performed simultaneously and those that are potentially unnecessary,” Wu said.

Increasing the affordability of housing in the city was a primary goal of the Wu administration.

In the city’s budget passed earlier this year, Wu committed $ 380 million to an affordable housing effort.

Thursday’s announcement also came shortly after Wu reviewed the Zoning Appeals Board, presenting a diverse list of nominees, including tenants with limited incomes, homeowners and immigrants.

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