Affordable Housing in Boston, a Problem with a Solution

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At IBA, we strive to give meaningful opportunities to the residents of our community. Providing comfortable and affordable housing is a necessity to guarantee the wellbeing of all individuals. A well-kept living space is a cornerstone to the quality of life every person deserves.

IBA’s portfolio currently has 521 affordable housing rental units, most of them located in Villa Victoria. Since our inception in 1968, we have created 1,000 housing units. Despite our efforts, the demand for affordable housing in Greater Boston persists as Massachusetts remains as one of the states with the lowest rate of new housing production in the country.


Rent prices in the city are not in line with the average income, at an average of $2,000 a month for a one room apartment and the average income being $3,000 a month.  A report published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed that homelessness in Massachusetts has increased by 40 percent since 2007. This increase is in part due to the budget cuts at the state and federal level for affordable housing. Furthermore, a Boston Globe article outlined that although families must make below 50 percent of the area median income (below $42,35o a year for three person household) to qualify for a voucher, the families who currently enjoy this benefit make below $13,000.

The need for affordable housing is characterized by common and endless wait-lists. Section 8, a federal housing voucher program, has families on the list for the next eleven years and the Boston Housing Authority has a wait list of 40,000 households for only 15,000 available units.

Nonetheless, there are steps that are being taken to improve the situation.  There are public housing options that are available through lottery systems in Boston. In addition, Mayor Martin J. Walsh has developed a plan to build 6,500 new units by 2030. Also a budget increase of $37 million was announced last month to be invested in existing developments throughout the city.

There are also other ways to get affordable housing outside of the Boston Housing Authority. For instance, the Boston Redevelopment Authority has a list of the units that are currently being marketed here and an additional list of other available housing opportunities in Boston if you are not eligible.

If you’d like to apply for public housing, or want to check your eligibility, visit Boston Housing Authority’s applicant details.

Help us keep on providing high quality affordable housing services by contributing here. Every little bit counts.

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