Boise Mayor Lauren McLean gives State of the City, discusses affordable housing, city's economy

Lauren McLean
Posted at 5:18 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 19:24:27-04

BOISE, Idaho — Boise Mayor Lauren McLean gave the State of the City address Wednesday, discussing affordable housing, Boise's economy and more.

McLean announced the city will direct $2 million to small business as well as $3 million in recovery funds invested in childcare solutions in the Treasure Valley.

"While our economy has grown, so has everything else," McLean said of the housing economy in Boise. "My number one priority remains ensuring we have homes for everyone."

Affordable housing solutions

McLean announced $12 million will be directed to creating affordable housing options for Treasure Valley residents. McLean said six affordable housing projects are underway and seven more are planned to open more options.

McLean said 1250 affordable homes will be available by 2026 to help address affordable housing.

Related: City of Boise to start new affordable housing program

"We’ll keep supporting families and looking for new and better ways to do it," McLean said. "I’ve asked our teams to take a build, measure and learn approach. We’ll try new ideas, measure the impact, and learn from the results."

Improving city facilities

Crime numbers throughout Boise decreased, McLean said. Fire Station 13 will be going in northwest Boise next year and will be fully electric to help the city meet "both our safety and climate goals."

Facilities across Boise will be updated with $3.1 million to make city facilities more accessible. Playgrounds across Boise will also be upgraded to be more inclusive — the city currently has 10 inclusive playgrounds and there are plans to install inclusive parks at Bowden and Franklin Parks.

The city will invest $10 million in federal recovery funds for climate adaptation after 80% of Boise residents voted yes on the Clean Water and Climate Action bond. McLean said the funding will improve, repair and expand the city's geothermal heating system.

'We weren't broken', McLean addressed Boise Towne Square shooting

McLean addressed the Boise Towne Square shooting, saying the community responded in the face of tragedy.

"While shaken, we weren't broken. Boiseans rallied together to support those hurt by the crime. I saw the strength of our city," she said. "We found Boiseans ready to help their neighbors, ready to denounce hate."

"Boiseans continue to do what we have always done — dig in and be willing to help," she said. "At this moment of great, pivotal change, I am optimistic," she said. "We do this for each other and for our great city."