Lydia Edwards has been appointed to head the newly-formed Office of Housing Stability. As a Deputy Director within the Department of Neighborhood Development, Edwards will be responsible for programs to assist Boston residents in housing crisis — whether due to eviction, landlord-tenant disputes, rent escalations, unplanned loss of housing or any other rental housing emergency. In addition, the office will be responsible for collecting eviction data, evaluating for trends and responding accordingly.
“Housing affordability and preserving long term tenancies are critical to strong stable neighborhoods,” Mayor Walsh said. “I know that with pressure on rents in Boston, some residents may face eviction and displacement. We need to do everything in our power to make sure that tenants know their rights, and put policies in place to support those at risk of displacement. I welcome Lydia Edwards to our team, and am confident her broad experience and passion for this work will be an asset to our city.”
In his 2016 State of the City address, Mayor Walsh announced that the city would be forming an Office of Housing Stability to create efficiencies and better coordination of resources for tenants. The Office of Housing Stability will combine and focus the efforts of several existing city programs, in addition to adding additional capacity for this work. The leadership of this new office will report directly to the City of Boston’s Chief of Housing.
In addition, the Office of Housing Stability will lead research, create recommendations and implement new and improved policies and programs to make sure Boston residents are able to retain their homes. The office will be charged with drafting and reviewing new legislative and other public policy solutions to mitigate displacement and will create new city programs to ensure housing stability in Boston’s neighborhoods.