City of Cambridge Approves 1000th Inclusionary Unit


61 to 69 Bolton Street

In November 2017, the City of Cambridge approved its 1000th inclusionary housing unit, marking a significant milestone in the City’s efforts to create new affordable housing. 

Inclusionary housing, which requires developers to incorporate affordable units into new residential buildings, has been the greatest generator of affordable housing in Cambridge in recent years. Inclusionary housing in Cambridge is built without public funding, and the city’s inclusionary housing stock now represents more than $500 million in private investment in affordable housing in Cambridge.

“Diversity is the backbone of our vibrant and progressive community, and inclusionary housing has been a key component in our efforts to preserve and champion that diversity,” said Mayor E. Denise Simmons. “With the approval of its 1000th inclusionary unit, Cambridge is demonstrating our unwavering commitment to creating quality, affordable housing that will enable more families and individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds to remain a vibrant part of our City.”

Last April, the Cambridge City Council passed an amendment to the city’s 1998 Inclusionary Housing Zoning Ordinance that nearly doubles the amount of inclusionary housing units in new developments, requiring that developments of ten or more units allocate 20% of residential floor area for low- and moderate-income tenants or moderate and middle-income homebuyers.

“No City in the Commonwealth is as committed to affordable housing as Cambridge is, and we are proud of this milestone,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “By using various strategies, like inclusionary zoning, we are advancing our housing goals, and we have been able to help thousands of residents with some amazing results.”

The city’s inclusionary housing program has enabled individuals and families with a wide range of incomes to live in neighborhoods throughout Cambridge. Residents living in inclusionary housing include retirees, lifelong Cambridge residents, immigrants, young families, and households moving out of homelessness. Inclusionary residents are employed in healthcare, education, the nonprofit sector, public service, retail and other small businesses, local banks, and institutions. 

“It is our mission to support housing affordability for Cambridge families, and the inclusionary program is our key tool to leverage the market to support this goal. While much work is still needed, we are proud of the success of the program,” said Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. 

Following the approval of the 1000th inclusionary unit, review of other new inclusionary housing developments will continue, and applicants will be selected for inclusionary rental units being completed in North Cambridge and inclusionary homeownership units soon to be completed in East Cambridge.

The City’s Community Development Department (CDD) oversees inclusionary rental and homeownership programs through the Homeownership Resale Pool, the Inclusionary Housing Rental Program, and the Middle-Income Rental Program, each of which accepts applications on a rolling basis. For more information about the application process for each program, visit: