Boston affordable apartment rentals and housing lotteries in Massachusetts cities and towns.
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We supply affordable housing leads and the mandatory apartment rental application packages, prices and the Massachusetts addresses for studio apartments, 1BR, 2BR, 3BR, and 4BR rental apartments delivered by Smallwall SMS technology.

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Sample listing

Gables Arsenal Street
204 Arsenal Street
Watertown MA 02472
West of Boston
For Rent
Income Restricted 80% AMI
$1500-$1,900 1 - 3BR
APPLY HERE (wailisted)

HarborView at the Navy Yard
( Download the Applications )
250 1st Ave
Boston MA 02129
income restricted

BrookLine 1st Come 1st Served
$2,000 mo, wheelchair accessible
Contact: Andrew Origlio
(617) 277-1166
7 Harvard St. Suite 210
Brookline, MA 02445

2BR - $1,900 mo
at 165 Harold St
Dorchester, 1st come, 1stserv
Contact: Betty Tsegaye
165 Harold Street
Dorchester, MA 02121-3403
(857) 208-0947

Overview of Watermills. WATERTOWN WATERMILLS is a new 99 unit rental community located on 330-350 Pleasant Street in Watertown. There will are 15 apartments set aside for income qualified renters. You minimum income shall bae $58,000. The maximum is $110,000 for a family of six. These units have built-in washer dryers, wide plank flooring throughout, stainless steel appliances, designer kitchens and granite counters, and central air. Units are pet friendly (pet restrictions apply). Elevators are avail. Other features provided at Watermills include bike storage, self-storage options, electric car chargers, and a gym.

1 Bedrooms: $1,470
1 Bedrooms: $1,731
2 Bedrooms: $1,908
3 Bedrooms: $2,085

Tenants will pay gas (heating) and electricity (cooking, general, hot water) and water. Sewer is included in rent.

apply here

The maximum Allowable Household Income
1 Person Household: $58,240
2 Person Household: $66,560
3 Person Household: $74,880
4 Person Household: $83,135
5 Person Household: $89,830
6 Person Household: $96,460
1 Person Household: $67,400
2 Person Household: $77,000
3 Person Household: $86,650
4 Person Household: $96,250
5 Person Household: $103,950
6 Person Household: $111,650

How to deal with credit scores

Credit scores matter in the Massachusetts affordable housing market. New York applicants renting in the affordable housing markets are NOT penalized for having bad credit. New York state law gives bad credit applicants a pass. Cash flow matters too. The ability to have the funds to pay the Affordable rent is what matters. Income-restricted units keep the rental rates the same no matter if your income rises.

If you are buying there are a number of programs to assist the first-time home buyer with down payment costs in Massachusetts. Traditional banks may offer a mortage if your FICO score is at least 620 and your debt-to-equity ratio and employment history is ok. FICO score ranges are labeled POOR, AVERAGE, GOOD and EXCELLENT.

Affordable rent rates and home prices

The Affordable Housing Marketplace is for wage earners who earn below the area median income (AMI). The level varies by region. The Boston figure is approximately $85,000 a household per year. Anyone making less is eligible for affordable housing offers, but it is mandatory that you file the required documents with the property manager for the units. Our SMS service provides those document sets.

A 30% AMI property allows household income of $23K - $39,000.
A 50% AMI property allows household income of $39,700 - $65,000.
60%, 70% ,80% and higher AMI rates apply.

AFFORDABLE rents and affordable home prices are set by government policy. Your income cannot exceed AMI ranges to qualify. This usually means you are eligible to purchase condos with an income of $48-$55,000 a year. Household income can be higher than $81,000 to qualify in some buildings like THE BEVERLY, where some units allow for 120% of AMI, while the market rate units are still much higher.

Housing offers have PREFERENCES and FIXED RENTAL or PURCHASE PRICES set by policy. Renters in public housing pay just 30% of their incomes. Renters with Section 8 vouchers and other housing program vouchers see price controls but many times a landlord will adjust the rent higher than the voucher will cover and you'llhave to make up the difference.

You will notice that income restricted rents and affordable rated rents can start as low as $400 a month for STUDIOS. 1 Bedroom rentals typically are $950 - $1350. Rents hover around $1,500 for a 3BR. There are tens of thousands of affordable and income-restricted rental units available across the state.

See more affordable apartment listings at Online

Community Development Organizations who rent and build affordable housing

  • Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation
    (617) 787-3874
  • Chinatown - Asian Community Development Corporation
    see all buildings
  • Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation
    (617) 825-4224
  • Fenway Community Development Corporation
    (617) 267-4637
  • Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation
    (617) 522 2424
  • Madison Park Development Corporation
    (617) 849-6220.
  • Mission Hill Neighborhood Housing Services
    (617) 566-6565
  • Nuestra Communidad
    (617) 427-5399
  • RECLAIM ROXBURY - web site
  • South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation
    (617) 268-9610
  • Urban Edge (617) 989-9200

Low Rent Housing in Massachusetts

download Massachusetts Housing Choice Voucher processors

About the apartment lottery competition

There are a lot of people submitting applications to property managers for every housing lottery they hold. Demand for low rent and below market home sales prices is higher than ever! But, a double-digit percentage of applicants are seeing their applications trashed due to missing and incomplete information.

Tens of thousands of older apartments are also priced to rent below market prices. People are living in them but they also move out. Units in some buildings turn over every month. There are vacancies across the state. Your MUST put your name on WAIT LIST.

Recently, there were $400/mo rentals being offered in Lowell and Lynn, Massachusetts. The Town of Fitchburg has deals for qualified income-restricked applicants. The $800 studio apartments at Ashmont's Treadmark. The Ink Block affordable apartments rented for $1,300. The Fenway community had several luxury high-rise apartments renting to income restricted applicants.

The Jamaicaway had condos for $161k where market rates units beside them were $400k. Brookline popped some affordables on the market. There was the North End's Avalon Apartments and cheap apt units in South Boston, Jamaica Plain, Allston, Lowell, Cambridge, Fitchburg - when we say "cheap" we are talking about the government regulated reduced price commercial units rented to income restricted households ( where your incomes are between $20K - $106K). There were housing deals offering grants that substantially brought prices down in the Town of Marshfield. The Town of Randolph, via CRUZ COMPANIES has a development underway for over 50 affordable 2BR units, just getting started. Mattapan Square is bringing up some.

How do you win in an apartment lottery?

Use your luck and get the lottery application for an address you want to live at. Apply there. Self-employed or gig economy workers such as UBER drivers, Taskrabbits, etc. have to file a P&L with financial projections. Pay special attention to the "preferences"section and meet one or more preferences if you can when they exist in the documentation. Make sure your income is verifiable by the office receiving the application. A lottery or income restricted property for rent or purchase is going to have income limits you cannot exceed. Send your completed application and verify it made it in by deadline.

Some of these lottery preferences will not apply and there may be others unlisted that will:

  • there is preference for handicapped or disabled
  • there is preference for extremely low income
  • there is a preference for homeless parent with kids in a shelter
  • there is a preference for an Urban Renewal displacee
  • there is a preference for veteran, HIV, or senior citizen
  • there is a preference for a town resident
  • there is a preferences for a 1st time homebuyer
  • and NONE of preferences ABOVE may apply in a lottery

People think the apartment lottery is only for low income people but nothing could be further from the truth. When you consider the starting salaries a college grad has to work with, you must assume they are eligible for many lotteries and income restricted units as well. Each lottery is different and sometimes there is a preference that gives you an advantage.

Sign This Sheet for updates by e-mail.

Housing Search Workshops are Free in Boston

The workshops offer information and answers about how to conduct a successful housing search, including learning how to communicate with housing authorities, agencies, and landlords. When: First and third Wednesdays of each month from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Where: 60 Temple Place, Floor 5, Boston, MA 02111. Call 617-338-6665 or visit the website


Metro Housing Boston, formerly MBHP
Click to view a long rental apt price list.

Low Rent Listings in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance non-profit helps people buy a home.

View Affordable Homes for Sale all Over Massachusetts

Online Listings

The source of this information is the Citizen's Housing and Planning Association of Massachusetts. Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association’s mission is to encourage the production and preservation of housing that is affordable to low and moderate income families and individuals and to foster diverse and sustainable communities through planning and community development. Affordable homes across the state are marketed and sold by a number of developers. Listings are voluntarily added.

"STUDIO" is the most popular apartment related Google search term in Boston metro.

Boston Public Housing Authority Numbers ( BHA )

    The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has more public housing applicants than there are available units. Applicants are asked to choose their preferred building locations. These waiting list may be 1,500 to 10,000 persons who are looking for an opening. To get on a public housing wait list, you have to be eligible and it could take as long as 10 weeks to 5 years for the BHA to verify an applicant's eligibility.

  • Mothers with children who live in homeless shelters receive priority placements.
  • a reported 40,000 people are on wait lists for public housing in Boston

Sales Prices for Homes and Condos

affordable houses for sale Affordable Home Sales are on the up and up. More and more brokers are starting to offer them because there is not much else on the market to sell for big commissions.

The average sales price is changing. Stay tuned for more info about average sales prices for homes and condos in the area. New numbers are out.

Mixed Income Apartment Buildings

City NeighborhoodStreet AddressContacts
8 Griggs Street 
The Mount Vernon Company: 617-870-3584
The Mt. Vernon 
65 Brainerd Road & 1302 Commonwealth Ave 
The Mount Vernon Company: 617-870-3584
Allston The Edge
60-66 Brainerd Road
The Mount Vernon Company: 617-870-3584
Back Bay
Mandarin Oriental 
778 Boylston Street 
Maloney Properties: 617-209-5406
Back Bay
Avalon @ Prudential 
780 Boylston Street 
Avalon @ Prudential: 617-536-9300
150 Chestnut Hill Avenue 
Brighton 375 Market Street 617-733-4488
Building 33 @ the Navy Yard 
33 Third Avenue 
Harborview @ the Navy Yard 
250 First Avenue 
Roseland Property: 617-242-1598
Mezzo Design Lofts 
30 Caldwell Street 
Winn Residential: 617-242-0999
Charlestown Gatehouse 75
75 West School Street
Maloney Properties: 617-209-5406
Lofts @ Lower Mills 
1245 Adams Street 
Winn Management: 617-833-5533
Schoolhouse @ Lower Mills 
40 River Street 
The Dolben Company: 857-598-4807
The Peninsula Apartments 
401 Mount Vernon Street 
Corcoran Jennison Management: 617-436-0005
Walter Baker Lofts (Artist Live/Work) 
1231 Adams Street 
Paradigm Partners: 617-349-1100
Archstone Boston Common 
660 Washington Street 
Atlantic Wharf 
530 Atlantic Avenue 
32 & 40 Boylston Street 
The Hamilton Company: 617-228-5312
East Boston 350 Bremen Street ReMax Results: 617-821-3920
1330 Boylston Street 
Samuels & Associates: 617-267-1330
Harvard @ Trilogy 
170 Brookline Avenue 
Harvard Real Estate Services: 617-496-0216
142-148 Hemenway Street 
R.M. Bradley & Company: 617-421-0732
Hotel Buckminster 
645 Beacon Street 
29 Peterborough Street 
Hajjar Realty: 617-296-5200
Triangle Trilogy 
180 Brookline Avenue
Samuels & Associates: 617-874-5649
Fort Point
Midway Studios (Artist Live/Work) 
15 Channel Center Street 
Hallkeen Mangement: 617-946-4630
Fort Point Factory 63
63 Melcher Street
Greystar: 617-443-0100
Mission Hill
Oliver Lofts (Artist Live/Work) 
166 Terrace Street 
Winn Management: 617-879-1620
North End
Strada 234 
234 Causeway Street 
Maloney Properties: 617-209-5406
South Boston 
Parklane Seaport Apartments 
1 Park Lane 
Bozzuto Management: 617-542-3200
South Boston 
The Signal Building 
184 West Second Street 
SREBoston: 617-720-2800
South Boston 11 West Broadway 508-651-0700
South End
601 Albany Street 
The Hamilton Company: 617-228-5312
South End
James Court Apartments 
45 East Newton Street 
Fulton Properties: 617-369-9400
West End 
Archstone Avenir 
101 Canal Street 
West End
West End Apartments/Emerson Place 
5 Longfellow Place 
Equity Residential: 617-973-2200
West Roxbury
Belgrade Place 
446 Belgrade Avenue 
Maloney Properties- 617-209-5406



Lofts at Lower Mills, 1245 Adams Street, Dorchester, MA. Rental/Sale: Ownership - first time homebuyers, Prefer City of Boston Residents, Households with at least 1 person per bedroom, just 1 unit, 2 Bedroom - $181,400. (978) 456-8388

BRA Made - This Boston Redevelopment Authority affordable condo opportunity was offered for $250,000 - income limited to $66,000 annual. Its at Porter 156 Lofts in East Boston. Its has a large concept space with open floor plan and a 161 sq ft second floor loft area for bedroom or office. Has 16 foot high ceilings, includes a roof deck terrace. The listing was being offered by (978) 790-4381. A 4.5% mortgage will cost you about $1230 a month plus annual taxes of around $3,000 and condo fees of $160/mo

Home Buy News

Olmstead Green 3 Bedroom townhouses start at $202,000 to buy.

Advertise your homes and apartment here. Private owners and companies are being served and we have plenty of leads for you.

Deciding on where to live

To get a feel for the everyday neighborhood vibe you are considering, we suggest you go to the addresses of the housing and just hang around as long as you can. Visit the corner store, the laundromat. Notice what people do around you. Do strangers make eye contact?

See Any kids? Any bicycles or signs of life? Go there when school is letting out which is around 3:30pm for most places. Or at 6:00 when people start to arrive home from work and see who says hello. Try out the area in the morning when people go to work and check it out too. This will tell you a lot about the neighborhood.

Luxury Apartment Profiles

Foreign investors pay cash for Boston luxury apartments driving up pricing to bid levels over and above listed pricing. The Rose Kennedy Greenway area used to be a ghost town, but that's all changed. Luxury apartment pricing starts at $1 million for condos.

Boston ranks #5 among the richest cities in America. Fifty-percent of all the new luxury apartment/condo high-rises in the downtown area are being snapped up by foreign investors who pay cash money - often paying more than the listed price.

Millennial Housing Stock

micro-unit Apartment Profiles

Rents ranging from $1,699 for a 374-square foot unit to $2,450 for 597 square feet is the going micro-apartment market-rate at FACTORY 63 with heat and central air for $30 electric bill. ( ) is in the Innovation District on Melcher Street near Boston Harbor.

Neighbors are likely to be well-paid singles in loft-style apartments fit for programmers, artists and entrepreneurs who don't mind sharing common areas like "showers? - are you kidding me!

What does affordable housing mean?

INCOME ELIGIBLE means your household income has to be below the charted levels. AMI is Adjusted Median Income and there's a chart for that. LOTTERY means you compete against others who are qualified and are chosen by chance. WAITING LIST are used to show people units that are open or due to come available as people who have been living there are ready to move out.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING means different things to different people but the terminology is based on a calculation. SEE the AMI or Adjusted Median Income Chart below on this page for an idea of how your household income affects rates you may qualify for.

Affordable Homes Database
for home buyers

People with Disabilities
list of Housing

Housing Authorities

BROOKLINE Housing Authority

CAMBRIDGE Housing Authority

MALDEN Housing Authority


QUINCY Housing Authority