For Owners of Multi-Family Properties

The Housing Division has several resources for owners of multi-family properties.

Multi-Family Rehab Loan Program

The City of Cambridge partners with Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services (CNAHS) to offer interest-free deferred payment rehab loans to investor owners of non-owner occupied multi-family buildings. These loans provide financing for rehab work in exchange for a twenty-year affordability restriction. No payment is due if the units are maintained as affordable housing for the full twenty year term.

Funding can be used to upgrade units, correct code violations, or improve the exterior of the building. CNAHS will work with owners to determine an appropriate scope of work and to oversee the work to ensure it meets housing quality standards. The program provides up to $15,000 per unit for studio and one-bedroom units and up to $20,000 per unit for two- and three-bedroom units. Funding is provided based on the number of units committed to remain affordable. Owners may choose to set-aside any number of affordable units.

Affordable units must be rented to households earning no more than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI).

For current income limits, click here.

Rents must be affordable to these households and are usually set at 30% of the household’s gross monthly income. Units can also be rented to tenants with rental subsidies including Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers. Units are subject to an affordability restriction.

For more than 20 years, the CNAHS program has been assisting multi-family property owners in maintaining their buildings. For more information on how the program may be able to help you, please contact Bob Costa at CNAHS at 617/868-4858 ext. 208 or visit Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services (CNAHS) .

Landlord/Tenant Issues

Mediation for Results (MFR) is a professional mediation program of Just A Start Corporation that provides assistance for tenants, landlords, property managers, lawyers, housing or human services professionals seeking to prevent or resolve housing or property disputes. The City provides support for MFR so that this resource is available to assist both tenants and landlords in resolving housing disputes including code violations, repairs, withholding of rent, unpaid rent, lease violations, evictions and other housing disputes.

For more information about this service, please visit Mediation for Results or contact Peter Shapiro, Program Director, at 617/494-0444 ext. 317.

Lead Paint

Lead paint in older residential units poses a health risk which is most serious for young children. Owners of multi-family properties have a legal obligation to address lead paint hazards in their property. For information about the requirements of the lead paint law for your multi-family property, please visit Lead Paint Information and Resources.

If you have questions regarding a loan you received through the City's LeadSafe Cambridge program, please contact Donna Claudio at 617/349-4612 or dclaudio@cambridgema.gov .

Fair Housing

Owners of multi-family rental property are required to comply with federal and state fair housing laws as well as the City's Fair Housing Ordinance, all of which prohibit discrimination in making available and managing housing. For more information on fair housing requirements, please visit Fair Housing Requirements.

Multi-Family Property Acquisition

Multi-family properties have historically been an important component of affordable housing in the city. Many multi-family properties continue to provide affordable housing in an informal and unregulated manner. In recent years this stock of housing has been depleted as many buildings have been converted to condominiums that are not affordable to many residents. The Housing Division works with local non-profit organizations to purchase available multi-family properties throughout Cambridge for conversion to affordable housing. These efforts have been successful in maintaining the affordability of many units that might otherwise have been converted to condominiums, and ensuring that these units will be affordable to income-eligible residents for years to come.

If you have a multi-family property you are interested in selling, contact Anna Dolmatch, Housing Planner, at 617/349-4645 or adolmatch@cambridgema.gov .