100 Percent Affordable Housing Overlay

100% Affordable Housing Overlay Infographic

Adopted by the City Council in October 2020, the 100%-Affordable Housing Overlay (AHO) is designed to help affordable housing developers create new, permanently affordable homes more quickly, more cost effectively, and in areas of the city where there are currently fewer affordable housing opportunities.  The AHO allows the creation of new, permanently affordable housing that is denser than what might be allowed under base zoning, and creates a new review process through which new affordable housing can be approved more efficiently.

Affordable housing developers often cannot compete with market-rate developers who can afford to pay more for land and buildings. There are also areas of the city where current zoning makes the creation of new affordable housing infeasible. Allowing affordable housing providers to build more densely than market-rate developers through the AHO will create new opportunities to create new, permanently affordable housing. Streamlining the approval process for new 100%-affordable housing will help reduce development costs and allow affordable housing providers to create new affordable units more quickly while using public funding more effectively.

Affordable Housing Overlay Ordinance:

Click here to read the adopted ordinance.

Design Guidelines for Affordable Housing Overlay Developments:

Click here to read the applicable AHO design guidelines.

Proposed Affordable Housing Overlay Projects in the Pipeline:

Development Name/ Address  Sponsor/Developer  Description/ Proposed # of Units

Sponsor Website

52 New Street Just A Start

 Rental/New  Construction

Units: TBD

Jefferson Park Federal – Jackson Place / Jackson Circle / Rindge Ave Cambridge Housing Authority

Preservation/Rental/New Construction

Units: ~295 

Walden Square II - Walden Square Road WinnCompanies

Rental/New Construction

Units: 103

49 6th Street Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)


Units: ~46


Upcoming AHO Public Meetings:

Sponsor  Date/Time  More Information
 Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) Wednesday, November 3, 2021  at 6:00pm  View a meeting flyer.

This is an in-person meeting located at 47 6th Street

To view the dates of previously held public meetings for 49 6th Street, click here.

Cambridge Housing Authority  Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 6:00 pm via Zoom

View a meeting flyer. 

Click here to register for the Zoom meeting.

To view the dates of previously held public meetings for Jefferson Park - Federal, click here.

Just A Start Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 6:00 pm via Zoom. 

View a meeting flyer. 

To view the dates of previously held public meetings for 52 New Street, click here.

 WinnDevelopment Thursday, May 27 2021 at at 6:00 pm via Zoom

To join the meeting, click here.

View a meeting flyer.

To view the dates of previously held public meetings for Walden Square II, click here.

More Information:

For updates and information, subscribe to the 100%-Affordable Housing Overlay Mailing list

To learn more about how the idea for the 100%-Affordable Housing Overlay was generated, including materials related to the adoptions of the ordinance, click here.

For general questions about the AHO or to discuss potential AHO projects, please contact Cassie Arnaud, Housing Planner at carnaud@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4617.