Affordable Housing

MPU believes that children deserve to grow up in safe homes without fear of homelessness or displacement because of a lack of affordable housing.


We stand with families who struggle across the Commonwealth due to a lack of housing available for middle and lower income households.


Subsidized Housing

There are programs in each state designed to make housing more affordable. Subsidized housing, or housing with rental assistance from the government, is available for low income families who are not able to afford rent. These housing programs are typically managed by a housing authority. An example of subsidized housing is Section 8 vouchers, where a renter only pays the portion of the rent determined based on their income.

Eligibility in Massachusetts: To be eligible to live in state public housing a household must typically earn no more than 80 percent of the area median income. You must put your name on a waiting list that is kept by the local housing authority. Find out more here.

Assisted housing programs in Massachusetts include:

  • Emergency Housing Assistance Programs (emergency family shelters)
  • Home Energy Assistance Programs (apply for home heating and energy assistance)

  • Public Housing Assistance Programs (apply for public housing)

  • Rental Assistance Programs (rental vouchers/subsidy)

  • Homeownership Assistance Programs (first time homebuyer program/mortgage)




Tenant Rights

Signing a lease with a landlord means the tenant agrees to pay the rent for the amount of the time of the lease - usually one year. During this time, the monthly rent will stay the same, and the landlord cannot evict the tenant unless they fail to satisfy the conditions in the lease.


A landlord may only ask for the following payments up front:

  • The first and last month’s rent

  • A security deposit to cover the cost of any damage to the apartment beyond normal wear and tear while the tenant lives there (which cannot exceed one month’s rent)

  • The cost of a new lock and key for the apartment    


The landlord must provide the tenant(s) with an apartment that is safe, clean, and follows the Massachusetts Sanitary Code, and must live up to any promises in the lease or rental agreement. The tenant must pay rent, follow the rules of the landlord, and accept responsibility for any damage to the apartment that is more than just “normal wear and tear” (whether caused by the tenant or by a guest of the tenant).

Read more here: Massachusetts Guide to Landlord/Tenant Rights.



Gentrification happens when there is economic restructuring in a neighborhood. This restructuring usually occurs in low-income urban neighborhoods in order to attract higher-income residents.The improvements that occur during a restructuring often means that families and individuals living in the community get pushed out as property values and rental costs rise. Those residents who are able to stay may feel dislocated from their own neighborhood as local businesses are replaced with new cafes, restaurants, and shopping centers, and costs in the neighborhood rise.

In Massachusetts, gentrification has mostly occurred in Dorchester, East Boston and South Boston. Families with higher incomes and more education have moved into these neighborhoods that were previously lower income neighborhoods.

“The absence of affordable housing is a main driving force behind

the rise in homelessness in Massachusetts.”


  • In recent years, the number of cost-burdened households in Massachusetts has increased, while homeownership has declined.

  • Massachusetts is ranked as the 17th worst state in the nation in access to affordable housing, with only 60 affordable and available housing units for every 100 low income households.

  • Some Massachusetts neighborhoods that were gentrified saw home prices rise over 50 percent between 2000 and 2015.




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Keri Rodrigues, Mom-in-Chief

Massachusetts Parents United

388 Pleasant Street, Suite  305.
Malden, MA 02148



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© 2017 Massachusetts Parents United

388 Pleasant Street Suite 305, Malden, MA 02148.