Boise Mayor addresses affordable housing, job growth

Chloe Baul//May 19, 2023

Boise Mayor

Mayor McLean at the State of the City address at JUMP in downtown Boise, via Alex Finney (Boise Metro Chamber).

Boise Mayor addresses affordable housing, job growth

Chloe Baul//May 19, 2023

BOISE, ID — McLean describes Boise as an ‘oasis in the desert’, and by getting ahead of the housing crisis, she intends to keep it that way. Mayor Lauren McLean addressed affordable housing, first responders, childcare, transportation, and small businesses—to name a few—at the State of the City address at JUMP in downtown Boise yesterday.

Boise Mayor
Hundreds gathered at the State of the City address at JUMP Idaho // Alex Finney (Boise Metro Chamber).

“It’s getting more and more difficult to find a good affordable home,” McLean said. “I’ve worked with public and private partners to deliver on a promise—more housing, at Boise budgets, so that kids today feel that same sense of stability that a home brings.”

Boise has allocated $2 million to support unhoused families and is on track to build 1,100 affordable homes by 2026. This year, Boise plans to open 250 homes through the Permanent Supportive Housing Projects for individuals transitioning out of homelessness, as announced by McLean.

McLean also proposed renter protections to prevent frequent sudden evictions in Boise.

“We’ve seen too many stories of folks getting last minute news that they’ve got to vacate their homes, and it’s time that our renters have assurances and predictability about their leases,” she added.

The city is also making investments in fire departments, with McLean’s 2024 budget proposing four-person staffing on fire engines. A new station near State Street is expected to commence construction this year.

“As our city grows, we’ve got to make sure that our firefighters have what they need, to respond when they’re called,” McLean added. “We’re preparing a state-of-the-art and historically designed downtown fire station—we’ll break ground on a new fire station this year.”

The city has also supported local businesses by providing $2 million in grants and has also allocated $2 million to directly assist 1,220 child care employees. The mayor’s office has recently streamlined child care facility and licensing processes, reducing costs by $120 per license.

“We’ve got to make sure that kids have care so the parents can seek opportunity and that we meet the needs of our business community,” said McLean.

According to McLean, job growth has increased by 8% since the pre-pandemic period. In 2022, Micron selected Boise as the location for its multi-billion-dollar memory chip plant. “I’d say it was our grit, our determination, our innovation, and frankly Boise’s values that helped win this $50 billion investment and thousands of jobs,” McLean emphasized.

“We will keep this our oasis, our safe and welcoming Boise for everyone because we don’t give up, and we don’t give up on each other.”