By John Lynds
Newly sworn in Boston City Council President Michelle Wu has appointed City Councillor Josh Zakim to chair the Committee on Housing and Community Development as well as vice-chair of the Committee on Government Operations and the Special Committee on Charter Reform.
Zakim, who represents Beacon Hill previously chaired the Committee on Human Rights & Civil Rights and the Special Committee on Transportation, Public Infrastructure, Planning and Investment.
“I’m excited to be chairing the Housing and Community Development Committee this term,” said Zakim. “I look forward to continuing the push for more reasonably priced housing in our city. As Boston continues to grow we need to ensure that all residents are able to share in this prosperity, increasing the supply of affordable and middle-income housing is vital to our city.”
As chairman of the Committee on Housing, Zakim will work on public policies involving the preservation, creation, and rehabilitation of housing in the city, including public housing programs. Zakim and the committee is charged with the evaluation of policies and programs of the city to ensure an adequate supply of affordable housing. The committee also advocates towards a goal of safe, decent, and affordable housing for all residents in the city.
The committee oversees housing policies and programs of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston Housing Authority, and the Rental Housing Resource Center.
In his previous effort as chair of Human Rights and Civil Rights, Zakim led the Council’s efforts to address issues of equity and fairness in Boston. He authored the Boston Trust Act to improve trust and cooperation between immigrant communities and law enforcement, prohibiting the Boston Police Department from detaining residents based on immigration status. He also led a series of hearings to investigate serious health and safety concerns faced by Boston residents in rental housing, improving landlord accountability and maintenance.