Boston Housing Authority First to Voluntarily Adopt SAFMRS

The Boston Housing Authority will become the first in the nation to voluntarily adopt small area fair market rents (SAFMRs). Doing so would link the value of a housing voucher to rent levels by ZIP code rather than to rent levels for the housing market overall, meaning that people with vouchers may have greater access to higher-cost neighborhoods.

In 2016, HUD made the use of SAFMRs mandatory for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in 24 metro areas and gave all PHAs the option to voluntarily adopt SAFMRs. The Boston Housing Authority plans to implement SAFMRs on July 1, 2019.

The Boston Housing Authority commissioned a rent study that provided the evidence for HUD to increase both the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and the SAFMRs. A chart of the proposed SAFMRs for studios through 5 bedrooms for each zip code is available here.

The Boston Housing Authority is seeking public comments through 4 pm EDT on June 24 which should be sent to David Gleich, Chief of Leased Housing Programs, at or Boston Housing Authority, 52 Chauncy Street, Boston MA, 02111.  A public hearing will be held at the Copley Square Branch of the Boston Public Library, Commonwealth Salon, on June 11 at 6 pm EDT.