The City of Boston will set aside $7.5 million of Inclusionary Development funds for the acquisition of occupied rental housing in order to preserve affordable housing, according to a press release.
Through the new Acquisition Opportunity Program, the Department of Neighborhood Development will provide loans to help responsible investor-owners acquire occupied, multi-family rental properties. Property owners assisted through the program will be required to maintain the tenancies of residents in good standing and will also be required to maintain affordable rent levels for the units in the property for a minimum of 50 years.
“Boston is committed to making our city a home for everyone, no matter their age, background or financial status. This $7.5 million investment is another leap towards creating affordable housing for all our residents,” said Mayor Martin Walsh, according to the press release. “We are committed to growing our affordable housing stock, and programs like the Acquisition Opportunity Program ensures Boston residents will not be priced out of their homes and neighborhoods.”
The purpose of the Acquisition Opportunity Program is to add more properties in Boston with a limited rent that tenants can afford, instead of market rate rents. To participate in the program, a developer or owner must agree that a minimum of 40 percent of the units will be restricted for low- and middle-income families. Also, funding preference will be given to developments that have either a high number of restricted units or have units restricted to lower incomes.
The program is only available for investor-owned rental properties that are fully or partially occupied so as to prevent displacement of tenants due to gentrification. To participate, developers are required to agree that no tenant in good standing will be displaced from their unit.