Workforce Housing Program Receives $100 Million MassHousing Investment

Governor Charlie Baker announced a $100 million MassHousing fund for a new Workforce Housing program, aimed at supporting families that fall in between the low class and middle classes May 11.

The objective of the Workforce Housing program is to assist individuals and families between 61% to 120% of area median income (AMI) by providing $100,000 of subsidy to each workforce household unit, Baker’s office said in a press release. This will amount to 1,000 units of workforce housing across MA. A third of Boston metro area households fall in this AMI category.

The new program is designed to help families caught between the low and middle classes that may be earning more than the qualifiable amount for affordable housing but not earning enough to sustain market rents- especially in Massachusetts where housing costs are on the rise, the release read.

“Making more affordable housing options available to working Massachusetts families deterred by rising rent expenses is essential to economic growth and development in communities throughout the Commonwealth,”  Governor Baker said in the release. “These working middle-income families are the foundation of our economy and talented workforce, and the creation of this $100 million fund by MassHousing will advance opportunities for them to thrive and prosper.”

It is recommended that 30% of a household’s income is spent on housing, however in MA that would require earning $100,000 a year to afford rent in the Greater Boston area, the release read.

Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said that this program can lead to long-term societal benefits.
“housing production is economic development,” Ash said in the release. “And by expanding the range of housing options for middle-income residents, we will unlock new economic growth across Massachusetts.”

Sasa Jovanovic is an intern with Spare Change News from Thayer Academy.

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