Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing (UCH-TIF)

This program authorizes cities and towns to promote housing and commercial development, including affordable housing, in commercial centers through tax increment financing.

The Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing (UCH-TIF) Program is a statutory program authorizing cities and towns to promote housing and commercial development. The UCH-TIF Program provides real estate exemptions on all or part of the increased value (the "Increment") of improved real estate. Tax increment financing may be combined with grants and loans from local, state and federal development programs. The Department of Housing & Community Development's (DHCD) Division of Community Services is responsible for the operation and administration of the UCH-TIF Program.

Eligible Applicants

All Massachusetts cities and towns having designated commercial centers and a need for multi-unit housing.

A commercial center:

  • An area in a city or town used primarily for commerce or business, which may include but need not be limited to the sale of or provision of goods or services, including medical and educational services and services provided by profit and nonprofit entities.
  • High population density during the daytime or during regular business hours, when compared with its non-business hours or with the daytime population of surrounding developed areas of similar size.
  • Daytime automobile traffic and parking in a commercial center is higher, when compared to its automobile traffic and parking during non business hours or with the daytime automobile traffic and parking in surrounding developed areas of similar size.


Eligible Activities

In order to participate in the program, a city or town must adopt a detailed urban center housing tax increment financing plan ("UCH-TIF Plan") for a designated area with high business or commercial use (the "UCH-TIF Zone"). The UCH-TIF Plan must include:

  • Development plans for proposed public and private projects in the UCH-TIF Zone
  • Executed agreements with the property owners who will be doing new development and who will be receiving tax increment exemptions ("UCH-TIF Agreements").

A UCH-TIF Agreement provides an annual real estate tax exemption for up to 20 years for all or part of the real estate tax on the increment.

The Agreement also specifies the affordable housing to be created and includes an affordable housing restriction which ensures that 25% of the housing assisted by the exemption will be affordable for 40 years or the useful life of the housing, whichever is longer.

Selection Criteria

DHCD will review and approve all UCH-TIF Zones and UCH-TIF Plans, as well as each individual UCH-TIF Agreement in order to ensure compliance with program requirements set out in the UCH-TIF statute, regulations and program guidelines.

How to Apply

Before submitting an application for approval of a UCH-TIF Zone and a UCH-TIF Plan to DHCD, a city or town must go through a local review and approval process. The steps of this process must conform to the regulatory requirements specified under 760 CMR 58.04, "Local Approval Process". Contact the Division of Community Services at 617-573-1400 for more information.

UCH-TIF Application Guidelines

Other Resources

Massachusetts Office of Business Development/Economic Development Incentive Prog (EDIP)

Massachusetts Office of Business Development District Improvement Financing Program (DIF)

Citizens' Housing and Planning Association

Massachusetts Housing Partnership


M.G.L. Chapter 40 Section 60

760 CMR 58 - UCH-TIF Program Regulations

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