Local Housing Resources

The housing market around Harvard University is among the most expensive in the nation, which creates difficulties for HUCTW members when searching for appropriate and affordable housing. Because of this vast regional challenge, several nearby cities and towns operate middle-income rental and home-buying programs for which many HUCTW members qualify.

Most home affordability programs use income guidelines based on Area Median Income (AMI) to determine eligibility. To find your AMI level and search for affordable housing options, follow these simple steps:

  • Find your combined household income and percentage of AMI on this chart of local AMI levels.
    • While this chart was compiled by Cambridge, MA, the income levels are relevant for numerous housing programs in the area.
  • Based on your household AMI percentage, find the program(s) in the chart below for which you may be eligible.
  • Familiarize yourself with the unique requirements and processes of each program and contact the sponsoring entities to apply.

Prospective renters and buyers should be aware that waitlists and lotteries for these programs are common, so availability is never guaranteed even for qualified households.


Rental Programs

Area Median Income (AMI) Percentage
Up to 50 51 to 80 81 to 120
Statewide Housing Navigator
 Statewide low-income rental waiting list
Boston Metrolist (includes neighboring communities)
Cambridge Rental Applicant Pool Middle-Income Rental Program
Somerville Inclusionary Housing Program (up to 110 percent)



Home-Buying Programs

Area Median Income (AMI) Percentage
Up to 50 51 to 80 81 to 100 Greater than 101
Statewide Down payment assistance for first-time buyers
MassHousing Mortgages Up to 135% AMI
Boston Metrolist (includes neighboring communities)
Cambridge Downpayment assistance
Homeownership resale pool
HomeBridge first-time-buyers assistance
Somerville Closing cost and down payment assistance programs