Housing Data

Various data sources about the housing stock of Cambridge.

Are you looking for affordable housing in Cambridge? The Housing Division offers both rental and ownership opportunities.  Learn how to submit an application. 

What Does It Cost to Rent an Apartment?

Learn how the median price of market rate apartments has changed since 2010. Includes both prices charged at the time (also called nominal prices, which are not adjusted for inflation) and prices adjusted for inflation. 

Median prices are based on advertised prices for apartments. Data excludes affordable housing and graduate student housing owned by the universities:

Learn More about Rents with the Rental Housing Cost Tracker

Learn how the rental housing market has changed over time. Topics covered include median rents, rents by neighborhood, available apartments by household size, and rents affordable to housing voucher holders. Prices and unit counts are based on advertised rental listings:

What Does it Cost to Purchase a Home?

View median sales prices for single family, two family, and three family buildings as well condominiums:

How Affordable Is Housing? How Much of Their Income Do People Pay?

Residents with widely varying incomes are affected differently by the cost of housing. Learn about housing affordability and how it is measured using cost burden:

What Are the Income Limits for Different Housing Programs?

Different housing programs use different income guidelines to determine eligibility. The guidelines derive from median income levels for the Boston region calculated by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These income levels are named "area median income", often called AMI.

Depending on the program, the income limit for City programs ranges from 50% to 120% of AMI:

Fiscal year 2023 HUD and city housing program income guidelines

How Much Housing Is There in Cambridge?

Every year the Community Development Department compiles an inventory of the housing stock by neighborhood as of June 30. The count includes units under construction and all graduate student apartments. The inventory also counts units and residential properties based on the number of units on a property. Dormitories are not included:

The Census Bureau also counts the number of housing units. This occurs as part of the decennial census conducted every ten years. The decennial census excludes some graduate student apartments and homes in an early stage of construction. Dormitories are not included. The Cambridge inventory is not comparable to Census Bureau housing statistics:

How has Cambridge's Housing Stock Changed in Size over the Years?

The housing stock of Cambridge has expanded steadily in recent years. Learn how many units the City has added based on data collected from building permits:

How Many Housing Foreclosures Happen in Cambridge?

The South Middlesex Registry of Deeds records property foreclosures. Measures of property heading toward foreclosure also include foreclosure petitions and scheduled foreclosure auctions:

What Do We Know about Homelessness in Cambridge?

The Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP) coordinates programs for persons experiencing homelessness in Cambridge.  Eash year DHSP conducts an annual Point-in-Time Count of sheltered and unsheltered persons on a single night in January:

What Housing Data is Available from the U. S. Census Bureau?

The U. S. Census Bureau published a variety of data related to housing. Two frequently cited sources are the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS).

View and download Census Bureau data at data.census.gov.

The Decennial Census undertakes a complete count of all housing units. This effort occurs every ten years. The most recent census occurred during 2020:

The Census Bureau conducts the ACS on a rolling basis every year. Unlike the decennial census, the ACS is a survey. Only a limited number of households take part every year. The ACS publishes data in one-year and five-year tables:

Is Data Available about Student Housing?

Educational Institutions in Cambridge house a large proportion of their students. They provide information to the Planning Board about this topic through annual Town Gown reports.  Town Gown reports provide information about students housed, the number of dormitory beds, and the number of affiliate housing units owned by local schools:

Short Term Rentals

The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) licenses short term rental housing units. These are units that rent for less than 30 days to a single tenant. A number of services connect owners and customers, most prominently AirBnB.  Learn more about licensing short term rental units:

Housing Code Violations

The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) receives and investigates reports about housing code violations. This data set tracks the status of reported violations. Contact ISD to learn about reporting a housing code violation:

For More Information

For more information about housing data contact Scott Walker, Senior Manager for Data Services, at swalker@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-9462.

For information about housing programs contact housing@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4622.

Learn how to submit an application for affordable housing.