Housing Initiatives

Harvard is committed to working with its host communities to address the region's high cost of housing. In addition to housing 98 percent of its undergraduates for four years, which relieves pressure on the local housing market, Harvard works with the cities of Cambridge and Boston to create and preserve thousands of affordable housing units as well as to support efforts to eliminate homelessness.

Harvard Local Housing Collaborative

Harvard University recommitted $20 million to the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative, an initiative aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing across Boston and Cambridge. By partnering with three local nonprofit community-development lenders, Harvard seeks to create and preserve affordable housing, build and revitalize healthy communities, and create economic opportunities for low- and middle-income residents throughout the region. Read more about the fund in the Harvard Gazette.

How the fund works

Since 2000, $20 million has revolved more than twice allowing the investment of over $40 million in Harvard financing that has helped leverage over $1.3 billion in housing development across more than 180 projects in Boston and Cambridge.

Nonprofit Housing Partners

Harvard Local Housing Collaborative Projects Since 2000

Harvard local housing collaborative impact map

Data sourced from LISC, BlueHub Capital, and Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust

7000+ affordable units across 180+ projects

Allston-Brighton, 11

Charlestown, 1

Dorchester, 57

Downtown Boston, 4

East Boston, 11

Fenway, 4

Jamaica Plain, 16

Mattapan, 5

Mission Hill, 1

Roxbury, 40

South Boston, 5

Boston (Other), 5

Cambridge, 33

Somerville, 6

Watertown, 1


Affordable homeownership in a green building

Located at the edge of Kendall Square, the Print Shop is a former industrial site transformed into affordable and sustainable housing units. With a green roof, solar panels, and a high-efficiency building envelope, the Print Shop is LEED Gold certified. Harvard funds were used to provide construction financing, reducing loan costs and enabling the project to more effectively leverage other funding sources. The project created 24 affordable homes to enable families to live in the heart of Cambridge, with access to transportation, jobs, and all that the city has to offer.

Adaptive reuse of a historic property into affordable housing

424–430 Windsor Street was transformed from a rectory and church into 14 affordable condominiums for low-, moderate-, and middle-income households. The reuse of the buildings retained many historic details while creating spacious and modern units. Harvard funds were used to lower construction financing costs, decreasing total project costs, and enabling the City of Cambridge to reduce the public subsidy required. The 14 units will remain affordable upon resale and will continue to provide opportunities for first-time homebuyers.

All Bright Homeownership

Harvard continues to work closely with community partners to support programs and initiatives that create and preserve affordable and diverse housing options in Allston-Brighton. The All Bright Homeownership Program, a first-of-its-kind pilot partnership between Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation, Harvard University, and the City of Boston, promotes homeownership stabilization through the use of deed restrictions that assure all units that revolve through the program remain occupied by their owners.