For Renters

625 Putnam Ave

Affordable rental units are found throughout the City in properties owned by the Cambridge Housing Authority, non-profit housing providers, and private owners of affordable and mixed-income rental housing. The Housing Division works with owners and managers of affordable housing in a variety of ways. The Division ensures compliance with City affordability requirements for City-assisted units, which include units that have received funding from the City or Affordable Housing Trust, and units created under the City's Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.  

Affordable rental housing is managed by property owners or private management companies which oversee the application process and maintain waiting lists for available units. The Housing Division works with managers of buildings with inclusionary housing units and offers a single application for available inclusionary units through the Rental Applicant Pool.

For information on how to apply for other affordable rental housing please click here.

There are many resources available for tenants in affordable and market-rate housing in the city. Please see the list and description of these resources are below. 

City of Cambridge Tenants Rights and Resources Notification Ordinance

The City of Cambridge adopted a Tenants Rights and Resources Ordinance, effective October 14, 2020.  The purpose of the Ordinance is ensure that housing information and resources are widely disseminated and that best practices are implemented at the start of and throughout tenancies in order to maintain housing stability for the City’s residents, neighborhoods, and community.   

For more information and to read the full ordinance, please click here.

Guide to Landlord/Tenant Rights

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Office of the Attorney General  has published the Attorney General's Guide to Landlord/Tenant Rights which outlines the laws and regulations that govern rental agreement considerations,  tenancy, payment agreements, eviction, habitable living conditions, and housing discrimination. 

For more information, please visit the Office of the Attorney General or call 617/727-2200.


HomeStart, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers programs which can assist many renters.  Services include homelessness prevention, housing search, stabilization services, rental assistance and Money Management.

For more information, please visit HomeStart or call 617/234-5340.

Cambridge Multi-Service Center

The Cambridge Multi-Service Center (MSC) is a collaboration of programs sponsored by the City and other agencies to address the needs of homeless and individuals and families at-risk of homelessness.  Through the Multi-Service Center, a broad range of services, planning, and coordination is available.

For more information, please visit the Cambridge Multi-Service Center or call 617/349-6340.

Mediation Services

Mediation Services is a dispute resolution and mediation program supported by the City.

For more information, please see Mediation Services.

Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services (CASLS)

CASLS is the Cambridge office of Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). CASLS provides free civil (non-criminal) legal assistance to low-income households in the city. With housing expertise in eviction, affordable housing preservation, foreclosures, and assistance for homeless families, services range from legal advice to full case representation.

For more information, please visit CASLS or call 617/603-2700.

De Novo

De Novo provides free legal advice to residents on issues including tenant/landlord disputes and discrimination. 

For more information, please visit De Novo or call 617/661-1010.

Community Dispute Settlement Center

The Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC), is a private, not-for-profit mediation and training center providing an alternative and affordable forum for resolving conflict.

CDSC promotes better ways to understand and deal with conflict through mediators, training programs in mediation and conflict management, and broad community outreach.

For more information, please visit Community Dispute Settlement Center or call 617/876-5376.

Cambridge Consumers' Council

The City's Consumers' Council offers a free, voluntary mediation program aimed at resolving disputes without formal legal action.

For more information, visit the Consumers Council or call 617/349-6150.