Here are definitions to three commonly used housing terms. For a detailed list of definitions please consult the Extended Glossary of Housing Terms (PDF).

What is workforce housing?

Workforce housing is a relatively new term used to describe affordable, year-round housing for households with earned income. The definition can vary but generally the provided housing must be affordable, accessible, and in reasonable proximity to the place of work.

 What is Massachusetts Chapter 40B?

According to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Act (otherwise known as Chapter 40B), in any town where less than 10% of housing qualifies as affordable under the law, a developer can bypass certain municipal zoning rules if at least 25% of the new units have long-term affordability restrictions.

What is Massachusetts Chapter 40R?

The Smart Growth Overlay District Act (otherwise known as Chapter 40R), encourages communities to create residential zoning districts with at least 20% affordable housing units in areas of concentrated development, such as existing city and town centers or locations with direct access to public transit.

Upon state review and approval of a local overlay district, communities become eligible for payments from a Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund, as well as other financial incentives. The Chapter 40R program is voluntary.

Extended Glossary of Housing Terms (PDF)