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Renting to Own

We’re partnering with developers, financers, and service providers to create new models of affordable homeownership that provide opportunities for renters to start building equity in their homes.

Why We're Doing This

Boston’s current high-cost housing market, as well as exclusionary housing policies and lending practices, keeps many low and moderate income Bostonians from enjoying the benefits of homeownership.

Exclusionary housing policies and high housing costs have created disproportionate rates of homeownership among BIPOC households in Boston. In addition to having lower rates of homeownership, Black and Latinx households in Boston experience the highest rates of home loan denial rates. 

In spite of the City’s expanded ONE+Boston down payment assistance program — which can provide grants of up to $50,000 to eligible first time homebuyers — lack of savings, combined with low or absent credit scores and a limited supply of housing units, puts homeownership out of reach for many low and moderate income households.

This reality fuels our exploration of the following question:

How might we develop a new model of affordable homeownership that allows Bostonians to build equity while renting an affordable unit that they can eventually purchase?

What We're Looking For

The Housing Innovation Lab is currently soliciting proposals from creative teams of developers, lenders, and service providers.

Proposals will seek to develop affordable rental-to-homeownership housing units and/or pilot the use of new financing tools that create clear pathways for low- and/or moderate-income Boston renters to start building equity through renting an affordable unit that they may eventually purchase.

Successful proposals will be eligible for Mayor’s Office of Housing funding based on the demonstrated need for gap financing and availability of funds. Multiple proposals may be selected for funding.

Development projects and/or new financing tools should include the following:

  • Mechanism for accumulation of savings and/or financial returns for rent payments

  • Financial planning and credit building support

  • Homeownership counseling, financial, and technical assistance to maintain a home

  • Assurance of an affordable transition to homeownership and continued rental option for households who are unable to transition

View our June 13 Applicant Conference Slideshow


Our Timeline

Date Milestone
May 22, 2023 Request for Proposals (RFP) posted on the Mayor’s Office of Housing website.
June 13, 2023

City hosted a virtual Q&A session to answer questions about the RFP and proposal requirements. 

View the Q&A session slideshow

June 15, 2023

City hosted an in-person event to answer questions and provide a networking opportunity for prospective partners.

View the slideshow from the in-person event

August 4, 2023 Deadline for submitting proposals
September 2023 September 2023

Access the Request for Proposals

Interested in working with us in creating Boston’s newest model of affordable homeownership?

Download the RFP

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