So let’s say you have a job, earn some money, and are ready to find your own home. You’ve found a nice, affordable apartment, an apartment where you don’t have to choose between food and rent.
Not so fast! There is the question of the rent for the first and last month. Suddenly, the affordable apartment that is just perfect is not so perfect anymore.
But it’s in Medford!
A new pilot program launched this month by the City of Medford makes it easier for tenants to afford a place in the city.
The program, funded by the city’s Community Preservation Act and administered by the nonprofit ABCD, will pay the landlord first and last month rent for qualified tenants looking to relocate to Medford or find a more location. nice in the city.
Qualified renters, those earning up to 100% of the region’s median income, for a one-person household of $ 88,500 per year, can apply and the city will pay their first and last month’s rent at owner.
And that’s for a minimum of one year rental of any apartment, even those that charge fair market rent. In Medford, Fair Market Rent, according to Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) figures is $ 1,742 for a studio; $ 1,924 for a one bedroom and $ 2,336 for a two bedroom apartment.
“The city is excited about this program,” said Danielle Evans, Housing Planner at Medford.
The city has spent $ 60,000 on the pilot program and will monitor grants awarded throughout the year to determine whether to keep, expand or modify the project.
“We hope to continue to help tenants who come to Medford or move to the city,” Evans said.
She recognized that finding an affordable apartment in the greater Boston metropolitan area was already a challenge; up-front costs, like security deposits and the first and last month’s rent, can be onerous.
Applications will only be approved if the tenant finds an affordable apartment, which uses 50% or less of their income. While the government calculates that spending about 30% of income is not a burden, spending 50% can be expensive.
“Spending 30% of your income on rent in Medford isn’t always a reality,” Evans said, acknowledging the city’s high housing costs. “If a tenant can afford to pay 50% of their income in rent, we’ll pay the first and last month’s rent.
The federal government, HUD, sets the two income guidelines and determines the average price of rental housing in the city. In Medford, families meeting the following income parameters can apply for this program:
- 1 person: $ 88,500
- 2 people: $ 101,000
- 3 people: $ 113,700
- 4 people: $ 126,350
- 5 people: $ 136,450
- 6 people: $ 146,600
Other programs available to low-income residents include Section Eight Housing, a federal program that guarantees landlords payment of rent, regardless of the financial stability of approved tenants. Residents who fall into the low income bracket are also eligible for inclusion housing, those units that are set aside by developers who build housing at market prices.
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was approved by Medford voters in November 2015, allowing Medford to establish a Community Preservation Fund (CPF) to be used for the protection of open spaces, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation.
CPA funds are raised through a small surcharge on local property taxes; in Medford, the charge is 1.5% of property tax bills. By participating in the program, Medford also receives an annual distribution from the Statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund.