What We Do

In 1972, a small but visionary group of Cambridge residents wanted to create permanent solutions for stabilizing existing affordable housing and creating new opportunities. They founded HRI and started two programs: the Home Improvement Program and the Work Equity Program.

The Home Improvement Program, which still exists virtually unchanged, provides financial and technical assistance to help enable families to stay in their homes.

The Work Equity Program was for first time homebuyers through which HRI would purchase a small property, renovate it until it was 80% complete and then select a buyer who, under HRI supervision, would complete the renovation, thereby earning a downpayment for financing purposes.

In 1983, HRI formed a strategic alliance with Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services (CNAHS), a newly created non-profit housing organization that focused on renovating privately owned rental housing. In 1988 HRI started partnering with CNAHS on developing affordable housing. Bringing together the resources of both Boards has enabled HRI and CNAHS to take on more challenging and innovative projects. It has also provided access to the NeighborWorks network, which provides both financial and training assistance.

The chance to live in Cambridge, especially low- and moderate-income households, has been seriously limited by the City’s housing market. HRI is working to combat this trend by developing affordable housing across the City. HRI does this in two ways: by acquiring properties on the market that are then rented at affordable rates and by building new affordable developments.