The Boston Redevelopment Authority recently fixed an illogical irregularity that the proposed 1470 Tremont St. project brought to light.
Before that project, the BRA did not have a policy on whether existing units on site would count towards the affordable-housing requirement of a new development. Taken to an extreme example, a developer could have bought a derelict building containing 100 units, knocked it down, and built a new 100-unit luxury tower without it being required to have any affordable units.
Thankfully, the BRA has recognized the error of not having a policy to deal with such a matter and will now require a unit to count towards the affordable-housing requirement if it is substantially renovated. That means the 1470 Tremont St. project will have one more affordable-housing unit because the existing eight units on site will count towards the requirement.