Find and Support Your Local United Way

Affordable Housing

To be financially stable, working families need housing that is affordable.  Today, more than 4 million working families spend more than half of their income for rent and/or mortgages, leaving them particularly vulnerable to eviction or foreclosure if their income is interrupted.

United Ways across the country are helping their communities create affordable housing opportunities.  The limited supply of affordable housing stock, coupled with long waiting lists, and confusing application processes, makes it extremely difficult for low-income working families to obtain affordable housing. 

United Ways are collaborating with their local 10 Year Plans to Prevent and End Homelessness, which are guided by the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.  Many are advocating for reforms to zoning and regulatory laws to help preserve and expand the supply of good quality, affordable housing units. Others are bringing housing providers together for improved coordination to make affordable homes easier to access. 

Direct service providers are working with us to connect residents to income supports and tax credits, first-time homebuyer programs, and homeownership counseling to help them retain and manage their housing.

Our Strategies:

  • Increase and maintain the supply of affordable housing
  • Connect low-income working families with affordable housing
  • Prevent low-income working families from losing affordable housing


A Local Example of Impact

Safe, stable, affordable housing is a critical component of family financial stability. Using the Housing First model, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has placed more than 1,000 families in permanent housing, saving the Commonwealth an estimated $3.6 million in shelter costs and associated expenses.  Seventy-seven percent of those families were stable three years after increasing their income, completing financial education and establishing a working budget.