Affordable Housing Development

Does the City of Newton develop affordable housing and do you have a list of available units?

The City receives an annual allocation of federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that are available to nonprofit and for-profit developers to develop affordable housing.  Depending on the type of funds - Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or HOME Program funds - developers may acquire, rehabilitate, and/or construct new affordable rental or for sale units in the City.

The City does not maintain a list of available rental or for sale units.  However, the City's housing staff knows which developments in Newton have a set-aside of affordable units and can provide callers with contact names and phone numbers. Unfortunately, most developments have long wait lists. 

How can I apply for a grant to develop affordable housing? What past projects has Newton funded?

Newton's Community Preservation Program provides grants to develop affordable housing, preserve historic resources or conservation land, and to create and improve City parks. A 9-member volunteer Community Preservation Committee evaluates proposals and recommends funding to the Board of Aldermen, which may then appropriate the requested funds.

To find out how to propose a project, or what past projects have been funded, explore our website at

For more information, contact program manager Alice Ingerson at 617.796.1144 or

Please note that housing projects must use other funds in addition to those available through this program.

Community Preservation Program, Planning & Development Dept.
Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue
MA 02459
Phone: 617.796.1144

Relative to affordable housing, what’s the difference between the Newton Housing Authority and the City?

The Newton Housing Authority is City's most significant provider of affordable rental housing and is primarily responsible for Section 8 housing vouchers. The Housing Authority manages over 35 projects in Newton that contain 481 units of affordable housing and administers several hundred Section 8 housing vouchers, which subsidize rental payments for eligible low-income individuals and families. The main office is located at 82 Lincoln Street and the phone number is 617-552-5501.  Typically, the Newton Housing Authority has very long wait lists for units they own. 

The City's Housing and Community Development Program is located in the Planning and Development Department in City Hall. The City does NOT provide rental housing to families or individuals seeking housing but rather, provides funding to nonprofit and for-profit developers to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing in the community. The City receives CDBG and HOME Program funds from HUD on an annual basis to support the development and preservation of affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income individuals, families, the elderly, and people with special needs.

What are the eligible uses of the City’s housing development funds?

Depending on the source of funds (CDBG or HOME), funds may be used for acquisition, mortgage write down, rehabilitation (if it is in conjunction with an acquisition) and new construction to create or preserve affordable housing.  If a developer acquires a property that is currently occupied, funds may be used for temporary or permanent relocation as well.

Does the City have any programs targeted to small-scale development?

Yes.  The Planning Department administers the One-to-Four Family Purchase Rehabilitation Program that provides up to $100,000 per unit to developers to acquire units and bring them up to HUD Housing Quality Standards and Lead Safety Standards.  Upon completion of rehabilitation, a developer may resell the units to income-eligible first time homebuyers at an affordable price or rent them to income-eligible renters.

I’m a developer and I want to build a mixed-income project with both market rate and affordable units. What do I do first and to whom do I need to speak?

It is helpful to understand the zoning and site plan issues related to the site you are acquiring for housing development. The Chief Zoning Code Official can be reached at 617-796-1141 and can answer any zoning related questions.  The City's land use planners can help answer questions related to site plan issues including traffic, density, identification of wetlands, etc. The housing planners can provide answers to questions related to City funds including CDBG, HOME, and Community Preservation funds and discuss developing affordable housing in Newton under Chapter 40B and the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.

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