Boston a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts

About Affordable Housing In Boston

Boston has 199 low income housing communities. Boston is served by Boston Housing Authority.

Affordable Apartments in Boston

1782 Washington Street
Parmelee Court Homes features 1-3 bedroom apartments. Rents at Parmelee Court Homes start at $1,850-3,100.
Parmelee Court Homes participates in the following programs:
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
26 Worcester Street
Langham Court features St.-2 bedroom apartments. Rents at Langham Court start at $1,350-2,900.
Langham Court participates in the following programs:
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
166 Terrace Street
Oliver Lofts features 1-2 bedroom apartments. Rents at Oliver Lofts start at $1,995-2,950.
Oliver Lofts participates in the following programs:
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
170 Parker Hill Avenue
Parker Hill features St.-2 bedroom apartments. Rents at Parker Hill start at $1,400-2,200.
115 Chauncy Street
Chauncy House Apartments features St.-1 bedroom apartments. Rents at Chauncy House Apartments start at $946-1,014.
Chauncy House Apartments participates in the following programs:
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Project-Based Section 8

Housing Authorities that serve Boston

Understanding Affordable Housing in Boston, Massachusetts

Population and Household Demographics

Boston is a City in Suffolk County, Massachusetts with a population of 617,594. There are 252,699 households in the city with an average household size of 2.01 persons. 66.05% of households in Boston are renters.

Income and Rent Overburden in Boston

The median gross income for households in Boston is $54,485 a year, or $4,540 a month. The median rent for the city is $1,298 a month.

Households who pay more than thirty percent of their gross income are considered to be Rent Overburdened. In Boston, a household making less than $4,327 a month would be considered overburdened when renting an apartment at or above the median rent. 48.8% of households who rent are overburdened in Boston.1

Data derived from 2010 Census and 2014 5-Year American Community Survey. Learn More.
1 Margin of Error: +/- 0.94 percentage points.

Fair Market Rents in Boston

Fair Market Rents, often abbreviated as FMR, can be used to better understand the average housing costs of an area. Notably, Fair Market Rents are used to establish the payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial rents for Section 8 project based assistance.

2017 Fair Market Rents
Studio One BR Two BR Three BR Four BR
$1,194 $1,372 $1,691 $2,116 $2,331
Area Median Income In Boston

Affordable housing program eligibility is always determined by one's income. Each household's income is compared to the incomes of all other households in the area. This is accomplished through a statistic established by the government called the Area Median Income, most often referred to as AMI. The AMI is calculated and published each year by HUD.

HUD often uses an area larger than a city to determine the AMI because HUD anticipates those searching for housing will look beyond individual cities during their housing search. For Boston, the AMI is calculated from all households within Suffolk County.

In Boston, HUD calculates the Area Median Income for a family of four as $98,100.

Most affordable housing programs determine eligibility based on the percent of AMI a given household's income is. Among the programs that determine eligibility based on the AMI are Section 8, HOME, LIHTC, Section 515, 202 and 811.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Boston

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program aims to create affordable rental housing for low and very low income families.

From 1989 to 2011, 14 low income apartment communities containing 1,298 rental apartments have been constructed and made affordable to low income persons in Boston by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in the program in Boston by looking for the tag in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Income Limits

For affordable apartment communities in Boston that received funding in part through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, monthly rent cannot exceed the Tax Credit maximum rent for the community.

If your income does not exceed 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you may qualify to rent a unit that is subject to the rent limits established by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

% of AMI 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
50% $34,350 $39,250 $44,150 $49,050 $53,000 $56,900 $60,850 $64,750
60% $41,220 $47,100 $52,980 $58,860 $63,600 $68,280 $73,020 $77,700
Low Income Housing Tax Credit Rent Limits

If your income is less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you should not expect to pay more than the rent value for a unit in the table below. However, Affordable apartment communities that receive funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program may have rental units that are not subject to income and rent limits.

Rent limits for the LIHTC Program are determined so that a household making the maximum income for the expected household size of the unit would only pay 30% of their income for rent.

For example, the expected household size for a two bedroom apartment is 3 people. Using the table above, the maximum income for a 3 person household at 60% of the AMI in Boston is $52,980 a year, or $4,415 a month. To determine the maximum rent in the table below we multiply the monthly maximum income, $4,415 by 30% to get a maximum rent of $1,325 a month.

Rent for units in the LIHTC Program include a utility allowance which is determined by the average monthly cost of utilities paid directly by residents. This allowance has not been subtracted from the rents in the table below. These utility allowances are set on a property by property basis.

% of AMI Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
50% $859 $920 $1,104 $1,276 $1,423 $1,570
60% $1,031 $1,104 $1,325 $1,531 $1,707 $1,884
Rental Assistance in Boston

Rental assistance is a type of housing subsidy that pays for a portion of a renter’s monthly housing costs, including rent and tenant paid utilities. This housing assistance can come in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based Section 8 contracts, public housing, USDA Rental Assistance (in Section 515 properties) as well as HUD Section 202 and 811 properties for elderly and disabled households.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in a program that provides rental assistance by looking for the tags in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

HUD Rental Assistance Income Limits

To qualify for most rental assistance programs a renter must earn no more than 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In some cases, rental assistance is reserved for renters earning 30% or less of the AMI. In Boston, to qualify for Section 8 assistance, a renter household containing four persons must earn $49,050 or less. For some targeted rental assistance programs, a renter household of four can’t earn more than $29,450.

It’s important to remember that in many rental assistance programs there are minimum rent regulations requiring assistance recipients to make a minimum payment of between $25 and $50 per month no matter how low their income.

% of AMI 1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons 5 Persons 6 Persons 7 Persons 8 Persons
30% $20,650 $23,600 $26,550 $29,450 $31,850 $34,200 $36,730 $40,890
50% $34,350 $39,250 $44,150 $49,050 $53,000 $56,900 $60,850 $64,750
80% $51,150 $58,450 $65,750 $73,050 $78,900 $84,750 $90,600 $96,450