If you are interested in utilizing Chapter 40B the first thing you should know is that no "40B" application exists.

A developer must first receive a site eligibility letter. The critical regulation outlining the requirements for site eligibility determination and application to the ZBA are described in 760 CMR 31.00:

Below you'll find the weblinks for the 40B-eligible subsidy program application. Depending upon the subsidy program you select, there may be specific programmatic requirements/documentation related to the qualifications of the various members of the development team.

Below in plain text and attached as an MS Word file is a summary of the more commonly used 40B-eligible subsidy programs.

You may want to explore, in particular, the Local Initiative Program (LIP). You can find the LIP General/Comprehensive Permit application online here.

We also recommend that for background purposes you take a look at the Housing Appeals Committee's regulations, 760 CMR 31.00, which you'll find here.

If you'd like to explore another popular ownership program, you can download a copy of MassHousing's "Housing Starts" application. To do so, go to their homepage and click on "Business Partners" , then "Developers", then "Home Ownership Developer Products" or "Rental Developer Products" as appropriate. The link for the rental application is at the bottom of the rental page. The link for the ownership application is kind of hidden down in the lower right-hand corner of the ownership page.

Summary/Contact Information Most Commonly Used 40B Subsidy Programs

Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD)

  • Local Initiative Program (LIP)
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
  • HOME Program


  • Housing Starts
  • 80/20 Program

Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston

  • New England Fund (Administered via MassHousing)

Massachusetts Housing Partnership

  • Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund

The Local Initiative Program (LIP)

LIP provides technical assistance to communities and developers who are working together to create affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate- income households. To be eligible for technical assistance, a developer must agree to set aside at least 25 percent of units as affordable. This technical assistance qualifies as a "subsidy" and gives local housing initiatives formal standing within the comprehensive permit process.

For more information contact DHCD at (617) 573-1351.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)

Federal and state tax credits administered by the state that allow developers to raise capital for the construction and acquisition and substantial rehabilitation of housing for low-income persons. For more information contact DHCD at (617) 573-1300.

HOME Program

A federal program administered by the state, the HOME Program supports projects that fund and encourage the development of mixed-income projects sponsored by community housing partnerships and developers, that make housing overstock and foreclosure properties available to first time homebuyers, and that provide advantageous home financing terms for low- and moderate-income families. HOME funds can be used to produce or rehabilitate rental housing, to assist first-time homebuyers as well as homeowners rehabilitating their homes, and to provide tenant-based rental assistance. For more information contact DHCD's Division of Housing Development at (617) 573-1300.

MassHousing's 80/20 Program

Contact MassHousing at 617-854-1000

MassHousing's 80/20 Program offers tax-exempt and/or taxable financing for the acquisition, rehabilitation and/or new construction of multifamily rental apartments in developments that reserve at least 20% of units for occupancy by households earning less than 50% of the median area income. The remaining units, comprising up to 80% of the total, may be rented at market rental rates. The 80/20 program has been utilized by developers of new, market-driven rental housing as well as by owners of previously all-market rate developments who wish to refinance with MassHousing. Both construction and permanent loans are available under this program for a term of up to 40 years.

Elder 80/20: Supportive Housing for Seniors

MassHousing has introduced the Elder 80/20 Program in order to expand the continuum of housing and service options for seniors. Developments financed through Elder 80/20 will serve elders who wish to live in independent rental apartments with on-site access to supportive services as needed. This housing option fills a niche between conventional elderly housing without services and the full-service personal care programs available in assisted living developments financed through the ElderCHOICE program. A minimum of 20% of the units in an Elder 80/20 development must be reserved for low-income occupancy.

Underwriting Standards

Developments financed through Elder 80/20 will feature apartments that are similar in size and amenities to traditional elderly housing. However, to facilitate the supportive services, these buildings will also provide common dining rooms, community and activity areas, as well as service areas such as a wellness center and professional kitchen. The public areas for Elder 80/20 developments typically represent approximately 30% of the total development in contrast to 50% in assisted living and 15% in conventional elderly housing.

Base rental fees under this program usually will cover the lease of a private apartment and a core group of services including one meal per day, an activities coordinator, wellness center, scheduled transportation and light housekeeping. Additional services, such as more extensive housekeeping, laundry service, extra transportation, or personal care, may be purchased on an a la carte basis either from the facility or an outside company to address residents' increasing care needs.

MassHousing will only entertain proposals that are shown to have an acceptable site, strong market demand and attainable rents, as indicated by an independent market study. Additionally, while the minimum age for inclusion into the development is expected to be 55, the anticipated target market is individuals in their late seventies and low eighties. Further, in order to promote long-term financial viability and maintain quality of services, mixed-income occupancy scenarios are preferred. Developers will also be required to invest a minimum of 10% cash equity into the development and to fund a rent-up deficit escrow. Finally, the development team must have experience in building and managing elderly housing which provides services. The experience should include developments of similar size and complexity to the proposed project.

For more information on the Elder 80/20 Program, contact a MassHousing Development Officer at 617-854-1000

Housing Starts (link to this)

The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, doing business as MassHousing, is pleased to offer Project Eligibility and Construction Financing to homebuilders wishing to develop housing with a "Comprehensive Permit" in Massachusetts. Housing Starts has been designated as an affordable housing program that meets the requirements of Chapter 40B by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Contained in this document is the following information:

  • Overview of program
  • Details with respect to the process
  • Project Eligibility Application
  • Construction loan and end-loan financing overviews

This initiative is a revised process of what was formerly called the site approval process, and from this point forward will be referred to as the project eligibility process. In addition, once a comprehensive permit has been issued for a specific housing development, a developer may wish to apply directly to MassHousing for construction financing to build the project. MassHousing's construction financing program has very attractive terms; and all approved developments may utilize MassHousing's low-interest mortgage financing for eligible homebuyers.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Herlihy (Homeownership)
1 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 854-1335
Fax: (617) 854-1029
TDD: (617) 854-1025
E-mail: rherlihy@mhfa.com

Nancy Andersen (Rental Development)
(617) 854-1360

Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston* New England Fund

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston's New England Fund (NEF) provides member financial institutions with advances to support housing and community-development initiatives that benefit moderate-income households and neighborhoods. The NEF serves a broader range of moderate-income households than the Bank's Community Development advance and provides special flexibility for mixed-income residential development.

Interested developers can visit the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston's website to find out more informational material and to locate a member bank in their area. The FHLBB is a wholesale lender and does not provide services to individual developer. Program questions should be directed your chosen New England Fund member bank.

NEF forms and applications

Contact information for NEF Members:
Paulette Vass
Community Development Advance Manager
(617) 292-9792

* Please note that the Federal Home Loan Bank is a wholesale lender. Administration of Comprehensive Permit (40B) projects funded by the New England Fund is now handled by MassHousing. To apply for Comprehensive Permit project financing through the New England Fund, you must first complete the appropriate MassHousing application (e.g., Housing Starts). For the relevant program guidelines covering the New England Fund projects see New England Fund Guidelines.

Massachusetts Housing Partnership & the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund

"The Permanent Rental Financing Program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing for rental properties of 5 or more units developed by for-profit and non-profit borrowers; terms of up to 20 years and amortization of up to 30 years. Loans from $250,000 to $9,000,000, or as low as $100,000 if part of a community redevelopment effort.

The Perm PLUS program combines MHP's favorable fixed-rate mortgage financing with an additional low-interest deferred payment loan of up to $60,000 per affordable unit for for-profit developers and $75,000 per affordable unit for non-profit developers (maximum $750,000 per project).

The MATCH (Massachusetts Tax Exempt Credit for Housing) program offers eligible borrowers tax-exempt bond financing of up to $10,000,000 at attractively low interest rates. Under this program, Mass Development issues the bonds and MHP arranges for the credit enhancement in the form of a highly-rated letter of credit allowing borrowers to receive the lowest possible interest rate.

For more information about MHP's financing programs, please contact Megan Magrane at 617-338-7878 x269, or visit MHP's web site.