Housing Programs

The City of Salem offers a number of services to address the community’s housing needs, including rehabilitating our current housing stock, developing new housing opportunities, assisting families to acquire housing and enabling struggling families to remain in their homes.

Housing Stability Services

Click here to be directed to the webpage (under construction).

Click here for the Drop-In Hours flyer.

First Time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Loan Programs

Downpayment assistance is available for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers through the City of Salem's First-Time Homebuyer Downpayment Assistance Loan Program (FTHB). The FTHB Program requires matching funds and can be used for properties in the City of Salem only. Homebuyers must meet eligibility requirements.

Housing Rehabilitation Loan Programs

To start the process and get on the waitlist for either the Owner-Occupied or Investor-Owned Loan Programs, please fill out and submit the Loan Program Pre-Qualification Form:  

Owner Occupied Loan Program
Housing rehabilitation assistance is available to low- and moderate-income homeowners for 1-4 unit homes.

Investor Owned (Landlord) Loan Program
Housing Rehab assistance is available to landlords with low- and moderate-income tenants in 1-7 unit properties.  

    If you intend to improve tenant units in your owner-occupied property, the following are also applicable:

    Are you a contracting firm that is interested in bidding on any of our housing rehabilitation projects?
    Please review the following information for contractors to see if your firm qualifies:

    Get the Lead Out Loan Program

     Salem has temporarily suspended administration of this program.  Please refer to the State sight for a list of participating local rehabilitation agencies: https://www.masshousing.com/home-ownership/homeowners

    Affordable Accessory Dwelling Units

    Affordable Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are allowed by right in Salem. Facts about ADUs are available here: https://www.salemma.gov/adu


    On September 23, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a special state act granting homeowners in Salem the option of exempting the value of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property from their property taxes, so long as they are renting the ADU, including utilities, for a monthly amount affordable for those at or below 70% of the area median income. Currently, that means to qualify for the tax discount, the maximum rent and utilities for a studio ADU would be $1,417.50/month, for a one bedroom it would be $1,538.60, and for a two bedroom it would be $1,844.50. Salem homeowners who may be eligible for this property tax exemption should contact the Assessor’s Office at (978) 619-5608. Applications for the exemption must be submitted annually.


    To apply for an ADU Construction Grant, click here. These grants fund up to 50 percent or $45,000 of the eligible construction cost to build an ADU, whichever is less. Eligible construction costs include materials to build the accessory dwelling unit and labor for licensed contractors to build an accessory dwelling unit and that meet the grant’s qualification criteria.

    To apply for an ADU Design Grant, click here. These grants fund up to 50 percent of the eligible cost or $2,500, whichever is less, for ADU plans to be created. Eligible design costs include labor for a licensed architect or contractor to prepare a set of accessory dwelling units plans that are acceptable to the building department and that meet the grant’s qualification criteria.

    Foreclosure Prevention, Predatory Lending and Legal Resources

    Click here for a list of resources on foreclosure prevention, predatory lending and legal resources.

    Click here for the Essex County Bar Association/City of Salem Housing Stability webpage

    Fair Housing and Housing Discrimination

    Click here for information on Fair Housing and what to do if you think you have been discriminated against.

    Additional Resources

    In addition to the resources offered by the City, there are a number of other state, federal and private programs available to help you address your housing needs:

    MassSave Energy Savings Programs

    Mass Save® is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. The Sponsors of Mass Save work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to provide a wide range of services, incentives, trainings, and information promoting energy efficiency that help residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs.

    All residents and businesses, regardless of income levels, are eligible for a range of energy efficiency services including free home energy assessments, weatherization improvement incentives, appliance rebates, and more. Read more information about MassSave here.

    For more information on housing programs, contact Naomi Francisco at 978-745-9595, Ext. 5685 or nfrancisco@salem.com   

    To contact the Salem Housing Authority for information on subsidized housing, please click here.