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Having an ample supply of affordable places to live fosters a host of economic benefits for communities and also serves to heighten civic participation, increase public safety and create a greater sense of community pride.
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Housing affordability measures a households ability to pay for the total cost of housing, including rent or mortgage payments and utilities. As defined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing is affordable if the total cost of housing is 30% or less of household income.
In Massachusetts, the term “Affordable Housing” is most commonly used to describe housing that is affordable to households with income of 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). Housing that meets this criteria is often eligible as subsidized housing and may qualify as part of a town’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI).
Workforce Housing is generally considered to be housing that is affordable to households with total income between 60% and 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In Massachusetts, Workforce Housing programs exist for households with incomes up to 130% of AMI.
Greater tax generation, creation of jobs, opportunities for economic development, increased job retention and productivity, and the ability to address inequality — all are among the economic benefits of increased access to quality, affordable housing.
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