Why We Need the Affordable Housing Law

Massachusetts needs the Affordable Housing Law today more than ever. Rents and homeownership prices continue to be out of reach for many residents of our state. Most people earning average incomes cannot afford to buy a home. With the current economic recession, thousands of families are struggling to make ends meet

The Affordable Housing Law helps a broad range of people, including seniors, working families, veterans, and people with disabilities. Local families receive priority for the affordable homes.

Most of the residents in the affordable homes earn less than $50,000 per year. Typical occupations include: health care (nurses, medical assistants, and therapists); educators (teachers, counselors); retail employees; construction trades (carpenters, plumbers, electricians); office staff; financial services (bookkeepers, payroll managers, accounting); human services; and other occupations critical to our state’s workforce.


The Affordable Housing Law is the most effective tool Massachusetts has to create affordable housing.

  • The Affordable Housing Law has been responsible for 80% of the affordable housing created in Massachusetts over the past decade, outside the major cities.
  • Approximately 58,000 homes have been created for seniors and working and middle class families. Approximately 40,000 are apartments and 18,000 are homeownership.
  • Of these, 29,000 homes are reserved for households below 80% of area median income (approximately $66,000 for a family of four in Greater Boston).
  • The Affordable Housing Law has prompted nearly 100 communities to develop affordable housing plans.
  • 51 cities and towns have met the 10% affordable housing threshold, more than double the number in 1997 (24). 40 communities are at the 8% or 9% threshold.