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Over approximately the next decade, close to 17,000 affordable housing units could be lost in Massachusetts as their federally- and state-subsidized mortgages mature, terminating all associated use and affordability restrictions. Most of this housing, developed 30-40 years ago under various federal and state mortgage subsidy programs, is only partially assisted with project-based Section 8 rental subsidy; but 100% of the units are affordable due to budget-based (and tiered) rent restrictions.

To the extent that the properties have Section 8 assistance, the maturing mortgage crisis overlaps with larger crisis of expiring Section 8 subsidy contracts. However, the unique characteristics of this housing (rent and occupancy structure, community context, and regulatory constraints) pose special risks and challenges for public policy. In particular, the partial nature of project-based Section 8 assistance makes it more difficult to preserve this housing. There is also a substantial risk of tenant displacement since Enhanced Vouchers are not directly authorized when a subsidized mortgage matures. Even with Enhanced Vouchers, the unique role currently played by many of these properties in preserving racial and economic diversity in their respective neighborhoods and communities will be lost upon tenant turnover.

Inadequate tools and funding currently exist to protect existing tenants and preserve these valuable affordable housing resources. The analysis of the maturing mortgage inventory which follows concludes with proposed legislative and policy initiatives to facilitate constructive solutions to this new expiring use challenge.


Center for Social Policy Working Paper #2009-8.

Prepared for the Center for Social Policy and the Boston Tenant Coalition



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