40B Affordable Housing for Homebuyers

Chapter 40B Housing is a program created by the State of Massachusetts which allows developers to override local zoning bylaws in order to increase the number of affordable homes in municipalities where less than 10% of the housing is defined as affordable.

The goal of the Chapter 40B program is to allow working families and seniors to remain in their communities when they might otherwise be priced out of the conventional housing market. The statute was designed to permit the development of multifamily and affordable housing in suburban and rural parts of the state.

NeighborWorks® Housing Solutions works with developers to create affordable housing and plays a crucial role in monitoring the affordability within the 40B projects, ensuring that the 40B homeownership properties are priced affordably and sold to eligible buyers.

happy family sm

Who is Eligible

Applicants must be first-time homebuyers, which is defined as a person who hasn’t owned a home, or owned an interest in a home with one or more people, within the three preceding years with the exception of:

  • Displaced Homemaker: Defined as an adult who joint owns a home with his/her partner/spouse and/or resided in a home owned by his/her partner/spouse, but has not worked a full-time job outside the home, but instead has worked primarily without remuneration (paycheck) to care for the home and family.
  • Single People and/or Single Parents: Defined as an individual who joint owns a home with his/her partner and/or resides in a home owned by his/her partner and is a single parent (unmarried or legally separated from a spouse and either has one or more children of whom the individual has custody or joint custody), or is pregnant.)

What is the maximum family income and asset eligibility requirement?

To be eligible to purchase a 40B home, the annual income and assets* of all household members must be below the maximum level as adjusted for family size.
Please use the link below to search your city or town income limits as they vary by county.

HUD Income limits

The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH HUD Metro FMR Area contains the following areas: ESSEX COUNTY, MA , MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MA , NORFOLK COUNTY, MA, PLYMOUTH COUNTY, MA , SUFFOLK COUNTY, MA

  • The value of necessary personal property items, such as furniture or automobiles, are excluded.
  • Determination of assets shall be based upon a full and fair cash value of the asset at the time of application to the program.
  • If a potential purchaser divests him/herself of an asset for less than full and fair cash value within one year prior to application, the full and fair cash value of the asset at the time of its disposition must be declared and shall be included for purposes of calculating eligibility.
  • Maximum Assets Allowed: $75,000

How is Chapter 40B Different?

Chapter 40B housing is different from other types of affordable housing because these homes do not receive any subsidies or state budget allocation.

Instead, the cost of the affordable units is absorbed by the developer as part of the overall financing of the project. The market-rate units available in the development must make up the difference.

How Do I Find a Home and Apply?

To purchase an affordable home, contact the owner or agent selling the property. You will have to complete an application and provide documentation to show that you are eligible, and will need to have a pre-approval from a mortgage lender.

To find the specific income limit for your area, you can go to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website where they are published annually.

Visit the Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) website for a listing of many of the 40B homes for sale.

40B Housing Units Available or Lottery

If you are looking to sell your unit, please contact our 40B Monitor, Veronica Truell, vtruell@nhsmass.org

I Need to Sell my 40B Home

If you are in a 40B home you purchased and now must resell, there are some steps you must follow and information we need in order to help you with the process. 

  • For New Homes (Lottery) Resales and Upgrades please contact: Veronica Truell, 40b Monitor, vtruell@nhsmass.org
  • For Compliance and Upgrades please contact: Liz Hernandez, Asset Manager, lhernandez@nhsmass.org
AdobeStock For sale house