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60,000 people are on Affordable Housing Wait Lists. Let’s break it down.

Wait List for apartmentts

WaitLists at MASSACHUSETTS Public Housing Authorities ( the government ), whether they be state, city or federal waitlists hovering over Massachusetts, are public knowledge.  There are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. Each one may have a “public housing authority.” Those who have one have a WAITLIST.  The Public Housing Authority wait lister may qualify under special preferences. People with emergencies and other PREFERENCES  ( view 44 recognized preferences  ) may be placed HIGHER on Wait Lists than others.   The Higher on the waitlist you are, the more likely you’ll get the next opening. That’s the way it is supposed to work but insiders, advocates and funders for that property can influence what’s going on. Example: When 1,000 new Section 8 housing vouchers were recently allocated for Boston residents, there were four organizations selected to choose who gets one.

Seniors and the elderly, veterans,  disabled, handicapped and residents with special needs may be added to DIFFERENT wait lists separate from the general population.

There is an independent service in Boston that helps you file digital applications to as many waitlists as there are that meet your eligibility criteria. You will need to get a HOUSING ADVOCATE to do that filing for you. Click here to see hundreds of advocates you can contact in Massachusetts.You’ll have to complete a mountain of paperwork before the app is digitized and entered into the system. 

Private Waitlisters

 But what about Private, Non-government owned real estate for rent. Is there a waitlist for those? Property Managers who have contract with Housing Authorities and Community Development Corporations are usually required to maintain Waitlist. 

Of course. They exist for a number of reasons.  It takes people, hours, computer time, software and administrative costs to maintain a waitlist of residents looking to get in.   Some private,  for-profit landlords will maintain waitlist as an ROI return on their investment for marketing the property. Why turn away good candidates for the future when you can just pull the list out of a file the next time you have a vacancy and call that person.

Owner Occupied Property

Even small owner-occupied properties have some resemblance of a waitlist. It makes sense for a private landlord with rooms to rent to maintain a waitlist. 


One Back Bay, 135 Clarendon Street, Back Bay, MA 02116
Studios, 1 Bedrooms, 2 Bedrooms
Income Restricted at 40% AMI and 50% AMI
Note: Applications can be emailed or sent via US Postal Service upon request by calling One Back Bay at 617-284-5111 or via email at
Rental Waitlist – Open; Back Bay Rental Info 

Gables Arsenal Street, 204 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472
1 Bedroom – $1,496
2 Bedroom – $1,655
3 Bedroom – $1,815
Income Restricted at 80% CDBG AMI
Rental Waitlist – Open; Watertown Rental Info

Cooper House, 419 Walnut Avenue, Roxbury, MA 02119
Studios and One Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income
Income Restricted at 30% and 50% AMI 
Applicants must be 62 years of age and older
Rental Waitlist – Open; Roxbury Rental InfoApplication

Carleton House, 2055 Columbus Avenue, Roxbury, MA 02119
Studio – $820
Income Restricted at 60% AMI
Rental Waitlist – Open; Roxbury Rental InfoApplication

Spencer House, 2053R Columbus Avenue, Roxbury, MA 02119
1 Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income
Income Restricted at 30% AMI and 50% AMI
Applicants must be 62 years of age and older
Rental Waitlist – Open; Roxbury Rental InfoRoxbury Application

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg House, 132 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton, MA 02135
1 Bedroom – $976
Income Restricted at 60% AMI
Rental Waitlist – Open; Brighton Rental InfoBrighton Rental Application

Roxbury Crossing Senior Building, 30 Gurney Street, Roxbury, MA 02120
1 Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income
Income Restricted at 30% AMI; Must be 62 Years or Older
Rental Waitlist – Open; Roxbury Rental Info

Mosaic on the Riverway, 80-82 Fenwood Road, Boston, MA 02115
Income Restricted – 60% AMI
1 Bedroom – $1,093
2 Bedroom – $1,301
3 Bedroom – $1,495
Rental Waitlist – Open; Fenway Rental Info 

Washington Columbia I, 173 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA 02121
Income Restricted – 30% and 50% AMI
1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income
Rental Waitlist – Open; Dorchester Rental Info

Quincy Geneva II Apartments, 200 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA 02121
Income Restricted – 30% and 50% AMI
1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom and 4 Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income
Rental Waitlist – Open; Dorchester Rental Info

Bancroft Apartments, Various Locations in Jamaica Plain and Roxbury
Income Restricted – 50% AMI
2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, and 4 Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income
Rental Waitlist – Open; Bancroft Apartments Rental Info

Constitution Co-op, 42 Park Street, Charlestown, MA 02129
Studio and 1 Bedroom – Rent is 30% of monthly income 
Rental Waitlist – Open; Charlestown Rental Info

MetroMark Apartments, 3593-3615 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
1 Bedroom – $1,680
2 Bedroom – $1,827
Rental Waitlist – Open; Jamaica Plain Rental Info

Charles River Landing, 300 2nd Avenue, Needham. MA 02494
1 Bedroom – $1,344
2 Bedroom – $1,486
Rental Waitlist – Open; Needham Rental Info

92 on North Main, 92 North Main Street, West Boylston, MA 01583
1 Bedroom – $1,176
2 Bedroom – $1,402
3 Bedroom – $1,611
Income Restrictions Apply. See Rental Info Link. 
Rental Waitlist – Open; West Boylston Rental Info

Lodge at Ames Pond, One Ames Hill Drive, Tewksbury, MA 01876
1 Bedroom – $1,256
2 Bedroom – $1,497
3 Bedroom – $1,725
Income Restrictions Apply. See Rental Info Link. 
Rental Waitlist – Open; Tewksbury Rental Info

Mass Mills III, 150 Mass Mills Drive, Lowell, MA 01852
Studio – $1,059
1 Bedroom – $1,119
2 Bedroom – $1,330
3 Bedroom – $1,526
Rental Waitlist – Open; Lowell Rental Info

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Housing lottery highlights found in the application fine print.

Your Credit Score counts when you apply to a Massachusetts housing lottery. New York Housing lotteries don’t care about that.

However; applicants who have received a housing subsidy (like Section 8) are not subject to the minimum income requirements when applying to certain lotteries, like this one named Broadstone Bare Cove of Hingham. Their apartment units are coming to market soon and have a listed minimum income requirement of $45,180. The application period ends in late August 2019.

When paying rents at market-rate buildings, the leasing office may expect your income to be at least 2.5 times the listed rent. And they will want a rent-to-income ratio of 40%. Affordable housing lottery processors in Mass will look at your Rent-To-Income Ratio  as well. Its about cash-flow. They look for the amount of money left over after you pay for your car, your school, your food and other necessary, recurring lifestyle expenses. All household incomes are included in the calculation.

The housing application requires you to list all income earning household residents for proof. The left-over has to consistently cover the rents. Uber/Lyft  drivers and other gig-economy workers who do not receive a regular W-2 will likely have to file a Profit and Loss statement to prove income with their housing lottery applications. Housing lottery filing forms have been including a blank P&L form for them.

When DHCD funds ( Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development) are used to build the property, the applicant must pass reviews on credit scores, tenant history, and criminal background checks in accordance with DHCD’s requirements regarding same. Where minimum incomes tables are listed in some housing applications, the figures they show  may not be “required” because they are the estimated figures the leasing office came up with, but if you can hit those marks, it is a good thing.

Income: for the Brand New Affordable rental units going to market in Hingham soon, these approximate minimum income limits for households without a housing subsidy are mentioned in the app:  1 BR $ 45,180; 2 BR $ 52,500; 3 BR $ 59,100. 

Well, these items are just a few of the important details in a Massachusetts housing lottery application form.

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How to get hundreds of dollars added to Section 8 housing vouchers in Boston.

a dollar for an idea

“Boston’s Poor Forced To Find 2017 Apartments At 2005 Rental Rates,”


Be sure to read it and learn the trick.

Why should they have to ask for this increase?

This problem is caused by elected officials in Massachusetts government. Policy makes a difference.  When they don’t get it right, it is a #FAIL.  Politics is the control of a limited amount of fixed resources.

The article says …  “xtremely hard,” said 35-year-old Ashesha Rockette.”

Rockette receives a state housing voucher that helps subsidize her rent. She is required to pay a third of her monthly income — $211 — toward the rent while the state kicks in the rest.

excerpt: The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development would not comment on the funding levels for the voucher program.

The state slashed the budget in the 1990s. Over the last few years, they’ve restored some funding, but that’s gone to increasing the number of vouchers, not the subsidy amount.

excerpt: At 2005 rates, you may also struggle to find a safe, working apartment that meets state housing standards, said Rockette. When Rockette eventually found a place in Hyde Park for $1,650, it was far from perfect. Last week, the water was turned off. There’s mold, and rodents. Her mailbox has never locked properly, so she misses important mail.

excerpt:  Two years ago, that meant the state was paying the difference between her third and a cap of $1,392 — the maximum amount she could spend on rent. Rockette was not able to find an apartment at that rate. She eventually negotiated a better deal with the state, but many people who rely on these vouchers are still locked into the cap, which was set back in 2005.

Boston is increasing section 8 financing so the vouchers will cover more high-rent streets.

HEADLINE:  Dec 12, 2017,

Governor Baker announce a plan for 135,000 new housing units by year 2025

In May 2016, the governor announced $1.1 Billion for housing investment in Massachusetts. Where is the happy ending to the story?

When policy makers in government allocate billions of dollars to cover necessary expenses, there is negotiation. Do you build more housing the less fortunate can afford? Do  you fix rusty bridges, replace underground the water pipes, cover cost of free insurance for  poor people? Do you build a new highway?

What do you do with fixed amount of money?

The answer never pleases everybody.

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Section 8 housing list and news

Section 8 Massachusetts


April 2019 – Boston Mayor Martin Walsh releases 1,000 new Section 8 rental housing vouchers to support those who suffer from chronic homelessness. The vouchers will be issued by the Boston Housing Authority through four programs that assist homeless individuals: Coordinated Access System referral program, the Rapid Rehousing program, the Moving On program and the Leading the Way Home Program.  Section 8 vouchers allow individuals and families with low incomes to only spend about 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, with the voucher covering the rest of costs.

Boston Section 8

The Boston Housing Authority administers a Section 8 program. view web site

Housing eligibility varies by Public Housing or Section 8/Leased Housing programs. BHA staff evaluate each individual application and make an eligibility decision. Here are some general guidelines that BHA uses to assess your eligibility. 

Massachusetts Section 8

Section 8 housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.  The Massachusetts Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program Centralized Waiting List feeds Ninety-Nine (99) Massachusetts housing authorities who use this one computerized list. All applicant information entered onto this list can be accessed and updated by any and all participating housing authorities.  View the Centralized List website for Section 8 applications and information. The Massachusetts Centralized Section 8 Waiting List will remain open indefinitely. The Waiting List is updated at least every two (2) years. 

Search for Section 8 by Zip Code 

CLICK HERE to Search with a zip code.
The HousingWorks Net Boston non-profit created a unique Section 8 search engine for Massachusetts properties and waitlists. 

Section 8 Legal Help

Consult Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc. – website    They are one of a number of organizations offering Section 8 legal assistance when trouble arises with landlords and Section 8 tenants.

Section 8 Federal HUD Information

Look at the Massachusetts Area Section 8 Locator Map.   Click to Access.

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Cambridge affordable housing opportunities

City Hall Cambridge

City of Cambridge affordable housing is owned by non-profits,  Town Hall, and there are privately-owned affordable housing units. Low income applicants are charged 30% of their income for rent when selected into the program.  The Community Development Department (CDD) is accepting Preliminary Applications.  To be considered into the Inclusionary Housing Rental Program you must apply.  You can view the eligibility requirements here and download the application. 

Housing in the Middle-Income program is for households with an income between $60,000 to $100,000. The Maximum Income Program allows incomes between $90,000 and $150,000.

A number of departments and organizations are building and renting affordable housing in the City of Cambridge. Click here to view the list.

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Are you eligible for an Affordable Apartment. Yes, you probably are. Here’s why.

affordable rental living space forms

A household who earns from $22,650 to $200,000 a year can be eligible for below market rate rents and purchase prices. That household could be yours.

Here’s why.

Your Income Matters.  The Federal Housing and Urban Development Department established income guidelines for every region of the United States. These regulations are used to fix rental prices to what properties rent and sell for.  

The rules created an Income Eligibility Chart.

In most of Massachusetts and the Metro Boston area, a household with an income of at least $22,650 can rent a 30% AMI studio apartment for $470.  Each AMI level raises the amount of rent.

Where Section 8 can be used, you get a price break.

See Rents

See Income limits

View more charts here.

On the Market now 

SALE: deadline for app is May 8th, 2019
Address: 11 Iffley Road, Jamaica Plain MA 02130
3BR, home for sale – 65% AMI $192,000 apply here

Rental: deadline to apply is May 15, 2019
Keystone Apartments,  151 Hallet Street Dorchester
Rent is 30% of your adjusted Gross Income
1 BR – restricted to elderly.
income limit. $56,000-$64,000 – APPLY  
( 30% of $56,000/12 ) is the month rent

Affordable Housing Lottery
The Reserve at Burlington
20 Corporate Drive, Burlington, MA
Studios @ $1,293, 1BRs @ $1,470, 2BRs @ $1,632, 3BRs @ $1,792
Apply here before June 2019
*Rents subject to change.
Utilities not included.
Tenants will pay own Gas Heat, Gas Hot Water,
Electric Cooking, Electricity, Water and Sewer.

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Legal help when landlords say no to Section 8 or disability checks.

Landlords who say no to Section 8 housing vouchers or disability checks when you pay the rent  are breaking the rules. Fortunately you can do something about it.

Call 617-884-7568 to report your trouble or visit the Suffolk Law Housing Discrimination Testing Program web site at 

Suffolk Law’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program (HDTP) is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to work in partnership with the Boston Fair Housing Commission to eliminate housing discrimination in the Boston metro area through testing, enforcement and education.

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A cool way to purchase a $500,000 house with a little help from Chan Zuckerberg.

bank cash

Let’s get right to it:

In high-priced housing markets, a home for $500,000 would require an ideal $100,000 down payment. Who has $100k laying around? Not too many people right. 

house with a huge porch in Newport RI

Well, if you are a teacher or eligible professional, here’s an option to consider:

  • If the house cost $500,000 in high priced market
  • Downpayment required is $50,000
  • You put $50,000 down
  • A Chan Zuckerberg co-funded LANDED initiative  pays $50,000
  • The balance is $400,000 ( ya need a mortgage )
  • The funder arranges the $400,000 mortgage
  • The mortgage is paid every month by ( )
  • you live there MORTGAGE FREE, just pay utils, upkeep, overhead.
  • years pass by
  • House is sold for  for $550,000
  • Why not: teacher or busy professionals moves on
  • Profit is $50,000 ( $550,00 minus $500,000 original cost)
  • keeps 75% of the sales profit
  • Teacher/Professional keeps 25% of the sales profit
  • That’s it!
  • # the end

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The price is fixed for affordable housing homes on sale like these in Boston.

consulting and advice

The cost of houses for sale to the affordable housing pre-qualified consumer have been stable. They haven’t changed much in two years.

In these photos, one is $293,000 with low down payment, $425,000 hooks up a two-family spread on Forrest Street and the odd number of $343,000 buys two attached single-family dwellings in Dorchester DOT Boston.


These are housing lottery sales and they go down March 8th, 2019 when your application is due. Affordable Housing Finders
Real deal

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Mattapan apartment building with 347 units just sold for $65M or $187k per unit.

In a previous article we said it cost $20B to create 50,000 affordable apartments at a cost of $400,000 per apartment and the cash flow from 50,000 income-restricted tenants would pay for it a few times over a 15-year mortgage period. stands by those estimates because after we posted the piece, the Boston Business Journal published an account of the sale of 15 Bismarck Street, an apartment building in Mattapan with commercial office space and 14 Studio apartments, 143 1BRs and 190 2BRs named the Fairlawn Apartments.

sold recently

When 800,000 affordable housing consumers protest in the face of the relatively small number of affordable housing developers and budget sources, when they protest louder than a few of the 800,000 furloughed federal workers did, then you may see 100,000 new affordable housing units under construction in Greater Boston by next year.