Affordable Housing Production in Cambridge, MA

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Affordable Housing Production in Cambridge, MA

Elliot Kilham, MUP 2016
Summer 2015
Organization: Just a Start, Cambridge, MA
Sponsor: Greater Boston Area Community Service Fellowship

“At my internship, I am working on a project analyzing affordable housing production in Cambridge, MA – both what has happened over the past ten years and what could happen in the next ten years. The project comes at a time when Cambridge is beginning a new master planning process and hopes to pursue an aggressive affordable housing production goal.

In my analysis this week, I looked at the sources of affordable housing production over the past ten years. Sources included new development, mostly by non-profits in Cambridge, conversion from market rate to affordable, and units produced as part of Cambridge’s inclusionary zoning policy. My analysis revealed that inclusionary zoning made up 63% of the affordable housing production. This seems to suggest that to build more affordable housing, the city should pursue an overall pro-growth strategy for residential development. Such a strategy would not only create more affordable units, but increase the total housing supply in Cambridge, thus relieving upward pressures on prices.”