Inclusionary Housing for Property Managers
The City's Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance requires developers of residential and mixed-use projects to include affordable housing units in developments subject to Ordinance. The Housing Division administers the Inclusionary Housing Program (IHP) and works closely with developers, owners and managers of inclusionary units.
For Property Managers
The Housing Division works with developers, owners, and property managers of inclusionary rental units to identify and approve eligible tenants, complete the initial leasing of inclusionary units, annually recertify tenants' eligibility, fill vacant units upon turnover, and assist property managers with other issues that may arise concerning inclusionary units.
To assist in making inclusionary unit available to rental applicants, the Housing Division maintains a Rental Applicant Pool (RAP) through which eligible applicants are identified for new inclusionary units and existing units available upon turnover.
For information on the Rental Applicant Pool, click here.
The RAP allows applicants to complete one application to be considered for inclusionary units in buildings across the city, and provides managers with eligible applicants that have been approved by the Housing Division for their review when units are available. The Housing Division screens tenants for eligibility based on income, asset, and household size requirements. The Division also ensures that City selection preferences are followed through the tenant selection process.
Eligible applicants are forwarded to property managers for review and credit, CORI, and landlord references. Property managers may accept or deny applicants based on this review. Applicants must be reviewed using the same standards applied to market-rate tenants. Approved applicants are offered the opportunity to view the available unit before deciding to lease the unit.
For tenants without rental subsidies, the Housing Division determines the affordable rent. Tenants pay 30% of their gross income for rent and utilities. The property manager will execute their standard lease with the approved tenant which shall include the City's IHP lease addendum.
For tenants with subsidies, such as a Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher, the tenant’s share of the rent is determined by the agency providing the rental assistance (e.g. the Cambridge Housing Authority). The subsidizing agency pays the difference between the contract rent and the tenant’s share of the rent. For tenants with housing vouchers who have been approved by the property manager and have accepted an availble unit, property managers will work with the subsidizing agency to complete the leasing of a unit.
Tenants in IHP units are required to be income-recertified annually. Through the recertification process, the tenant’s rent for the next annual lease is calculated and their continued eligibility for the program is determined. Property managers are notified by the Housing Division and provided with a Recertification Packet in advance of the expiration of each IHP tenant's lease. Property managers should complete this packet, obtain the necessary documentation from tenants, and submit the a completed Recertification Packet to the Housing Division for approval. Tenants with a rental housing subsidy are recertified through the agency that is providing the rental assistance.
Property managers should notify the Housing Division in writing as soon as they are aware a tenant will be vacating an inclusionary unit. Through the RAP, the Housing Division will forward new applicants for the unit. The applicant screening and leasing procedures are the same as at the initial leasing of IHP units.
Property manager should contact the Housing Division with any questions about the Inclusionary Housing program, tenant selection procedures, or IHP units. In addition to ensuring the eligility of tenants in IHP units, the Housing Division also monitors and will periodically inspect IHP units to ensure that units are maintained and improved as needed consistent with other units in building with IHP units.
While the information here is provided for general reference, please refer to the City's Affordable Housing Covenant for more detail on the affordability requirements for buildings with inclusionary units administered through the City's Inclusionary Housing Program.
For More Information
For more information, please contact Linda Prosnitz, Housing Planner, at 617/349-4619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.