Renting to Own
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