COVID-19 information
For the latest updates, please visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
City department hours
City Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you need to visit a department, you must make an appointment.
Back to top
Last updated:

Affirmative Marketing

We work to encourage those least likely to apply for housing to learn about their options.

The Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Program promotes equal access to government-assisted housing for all persons by establishing standards for public outreach, advertising and tenant/buyer selection criteria. The Commission oversees the development and implementation of affirmative marketing plans that promote housing opportunity and monitors compliance with fair housing law. 

Boston’s program originated in 1986 to establish standards for public outreach, advertising, applicant screening, and tenant/buyer selection.  The program was expanded in 1991 to go beyond standard marketing procedures and to implement a proactive effort to expand housing access to all Boston residents. 

Information on the program

More Than 'Not Discriminating'

The intention of the City’s Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Program is to encourage those least likely to apply for housing because of location, to increase their awareness of available housing, and to facilitate access to housing opportunities. Affirmative Fair Housing means more than “not discriminating.” It means taking steps to inform those least likely to apply for housing because of its location and to attract an applicant pool that mirrors the racial composition of the City as a whole. Affirmative Fair Housing means removing barriers to housing choice, such as encouraging and providing language access to housing programs, making households aware of opportunities outside of their neighborhoods. 

Categories of Government-Assisted Housing

There are several categories of government-assisted housing subject to the standards of the City’s Program. The requirements differ slightly, based on size and type of development.  “Government-assisted housing” means housing whose purchase, development, operation, or renovation cost is subsidized—in whole or in part—with federal, state, or local funds and/or government resources, including the donation or sale of government-owned land.  

Affordable housing restricted as a result of the Mayor’s Executive Order relating to Inclusionary Development is also subject to the program. To request an Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing program manual or Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan forms, contact Neighborhood Development.