The Faces

Support our community by supporting Affordable Housing

Many workers are unable to buy or rent a home in Boston

  • A home is considered affordable when the rent or mortgage payment and utilities add up to 30% or less of the residents’ gross income.
  • 49% of renters in Boston and 42% of homeowners spend more than 30% of their income on housing cost.
  • The median sales price for a home in Boston in 2009 was $290,000. The average salary required to afford a home at this price is $86,567.
  • The average worker needs to earn $22.23 per hour to afford a 1 bedroom apartment in Boston or $26.10 per hour to afford a 2 bedroom apartment based on the fair market rent in 2009.
  • Click here (xls, 25kb) for information on housing and wage data for Jamaica Plain.
  • Click here to learn more about what professions can afford or not afford market rate housing in your town

Many People are Eligible for Affordable Housing

  • Eligibility depends on household income, household size, the type of affordable housing available and its source of funding. Sometimes eligibility depends on whether the person is a senior citizen or has a disability.
  • Household income eligibility is based on the Area Median Income (AMI). The Area median income is the halfway point between the poorest and the richest people in an area.
  • Click here to see the AMI* in your area.

*Actual median income in the city of Boston is much lower than the HUD-determined Area Median Income because the AMI includes incomes in more than 100 towns & cities in the Greater Boston area, including wealthy suburbs.

Massachusetts Needs More Affordable Housing

  • Many more people in Massachusetts qualify for affordable homes than there are homes available.
  • More than 24,000 households are on the waiting list for public housing in Boston.
  • A single parent earning minimum wage in Boston has to work 97 hours per week to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • Extremely low income households face even greater challenges affording the high cost of rent in Massachusetts. Households currently enrolled in MRVP (Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program) have an average household income of $958 per month. Yet, the fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment in Massachusetts can be as high as $1,345.
  • The state’s family shelter system is operating beyond capacity. Over 2,600 families are residing in state funded shelters, over 650 of which are hotels and motels. The cost to the Commonwealth of sheltering these families averages $3,510 per month. The average MRVP voucher is less than $600 per month.

For more information visit these sites: