Kids running near housing

Neighborhoods + Housing

All residents of Greater Boston should have a safe, affordable and decent home in healthy, thriving neighborhoods

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Overview

A constrained housing supply and high costs have the greatest impact on lower income households. These households already pay a significant share of income towards housing. Within this universe of cost-burdened households, renters face greater challenges than those who own their homes. In Greater Boston, nearly half of renter households are paying more than 30% of their gross income in rent. For extremely low income households, housing costs burdens are so extreme that even a small increase in rent or the loss of hourly wages could lead to an inability to pay rent and set up a spiral into homelessness.

Our vision for the Neighborhoods and Housing strategy is that all residents of Greater Boston will have access to safe, affordable and decent homes in healthy, thriving neighborhoods. Residents will have increased options for renting and owning homes in all communities of Greater Boston. They will have supports to help them find affordable homes, keep their homes and increase their assets.

While we cannot single-handedly produce housing at the scale and of the type that is necessary, we can take steps in multiple areas that would:

  • increase housing production in the region through policy change;
  • preserve existing affordable housing;
  • increase affordable housing options for lower income households, and;
  • create pathways to housing stability and asset-building so that households can avoid homelessness, and so the communities they live in are stable and thriving.

Our strategy

To reform the systems that impede regional housing production and fill affordable housing gaps for underserved populations.

To support programs and policies that help individuals and families find and maintain suitable affordable housing and support services.

To support community-level planning, policy development and programs to ensure that residents of communities have access to services and investments that are priorities to them.


Strategy in Detail

Increase the supply of housing

Our goal for this strategy is to reform the systems that impede regional housing production and fill affordable housing gaps for underserved populations, such as low and extremely low income households with children.

The Boston Foundation supports organizations that advocate for land use reform at the state and municipal level and who organize and educate diverse stakeholders to also participate in this process. In addition to advocacy, the Foundation participates in affordable housing production initiatives that fill gaps within the existing system.


Housing stability and access

For our Housing Stability and Access strategy, our goal is to support programs and policies that help individuals and families find and maintain suitable affordable housing and support services. We support pathways between healthcare and housing to better serve low income households to achieve better health outcomes.

For low income households, the struggle to find or maintain affordable housing can be an insurmountable challenge. The Boston Foundation promotes investments in services that help households achieve housing stability and avoid homelessness, and creates a pathway for improved health, educational and economic outcomes.

Housing Report Card

For nearly two decades, the Greater Boston Housing Report Card has shed light on the key issues and challenges facing the Greater Boston housing market. The 2019 Report Card features a town-by-town examination of affordable housing practices and recommendations for changes that could bolster local housing production. 
Read the 2019 Housing Report Card


Thriving neighborhoods

Our goal for this strategy is to support community-level planning, policy development and programs to ensure that residents of communities have access to services and investments that are priorities to them, particularly in the areas of equitable housing development, tenant organizing and eviction prevention.

Grantee Spotlight: GreenRoots

GreenRoots logo

GreenRoots is a community-based organization dedicated to improving and enhancing the urban environment and public health in Chelsea and surrounding communities. They do so through deep community engagement and empowerment, youth leadership and implementation of innovative projects and campaigns. 

With funding from Boston Foundation, GreenRoots will facilitate a Chelsea anti-displacement roundtable, engaging a number of community-based housing advocacy and service organizations, as well as members of the Chelsea city Council, the city manager, board and commission members and resident leaders. One of the key elements will be a proposal to create a new anti-displacement zoning district abutting the Chelsea Creek.

  Contact our team

For more information on the Boston Foundation's Neighborhoods and Housing work, please contact:

Soni Gupta
Director, Neighborhoods and Housing
Email