Inclusionary Housing Program for Developers

Wheeler Street

The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance applies to new residential developments or buildings converted to residential use which create 10 or more new housing units or over 10,000 square feet of residential space. The Ordinance requires that 20% of the residential floor area in a building be devoted to affordable units. The new provisions also encourage the development of family sized units.  Developers may be eligible for a density bonus of up to 30% of the floor area and unit count allowed by the base zoning district.

Housing developers must comply with the requirements of the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance prior to obtaining a building permit, and should contact the Housing Division in advance of their application for a building permit to begin the compliance review and approval process. To begin the process, contact Linda Prosnitz, Housing Planner, at 617/349-4619 or  

Developers will submit an Inclusionary Housing Plan Summary Form and supporting documents for review by the Housing Division.

The required application documents can be found here: 

1) Inclusionary Housing Plan (PDF)

2) Schedule of Units (XLS)

The information on the plan will be used to review the number, type, and location of required inclusionary units. Developers propose which units will be designated as inclusionary for review and approval by the Housing Division to ensure the designated units meet the Ordinance requirements.

There are specific requirements for the provision of family sized units depending on the size of the project and the unit types and sizes in the development. Otherwise, inclusionary housing units are representative of the entire project, including locations, unit types, sizes, finishes, and amenities. The interior and exterior finishes of the market rate and inclusionary units mirror those of market rate units. Once the designated inclusionary housing units are approved, the City prepares an Affordable Housing Covenant which identifies the inclusionary units and outlines the affordability requirements.  Inclusionary housing units are required to be permanently affordable.

Developers should contact the Housing Division to discuss expected affordable rents and sales prices. Rents for inclusionary housing units are set so that tenants pay no more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities, except for studio units where tenants pay no more than 25% of their income for rent and utilities. Rents for tenants with housing vouchers are set in consultation with the subsidizing agency and generally reflect the income for households earning 65% of the area median income. 

The Housing Division sets sales prices of inclusionary homeownership units prior to making them available to income-eligible buyers. Prices are set to be affordable to households making 90% of the area median income paying 30% of their income for the monthly housing payment, which includes mortgage payments, condominium or related fees, taxes, utilities, insurance costs and parking fees, if any.  Prices vary according to unit size, mortgage interest rates, condominium and other fees for each development. Developers should contact the Housing Division to discuss sales prices as inclusionary developments near completion.

The Housing Division works with developers and owners of inclusionary units to identify and approve eligible tenants and homebuyers for inclusionary units. As developments approach completion, developers should contact the Housing Division to review the City's marketing and resident selection processes. The Housing Division markets available units, accepts applications, and reviews and approves applicant eligibility for inclusionary homeownership units. 

The Division identifies eligible applicants for rental units through its Rental Applicant Pool

Eligible applicants for inclusionary rental units are referred to property owners or managers for review (credit, CORI and landlord references) and approval using standards applied to other applicants. Sales contracts or leases for inclusionary units are executed between the selected applicant and the building owner.

For More Information

For more information about the Inclusionary Housing Program, please contact Linda Prosnitz, Housing Planner, at 617/349-4619 or