Home Ownership Development Program

Just-A-Start develops affordable homes for first-time homebuyers. These units are affordable to families with incomes at 60% – 80% of the area median income and occasionally up to 100% of area median income. All of the units are purchased pursuant to an Affordable Housing Agreement with the City of Cambridge, allowing the City to repurchase the units when sold at a restricted resale price.

Over the past 20 years Just-A-Start has produced over 100 units of affordable housing for ownership. These homeownership developments are small in scale, ranging from 3 to 14 units and are a combination of new construction and rehabilitation of deteriorated properties.

Homeowners are required to take a First Time Homebuyers class prior to purchasing their home and JAS provides Condominium training and support in the first year of operation. Click here for more information on the First Time Homebuyers class offered by the City.

Units are sold through a lottery process with preference given to Cambridge residents and families with children.

In the design process the JAS development team collaborates to incorporate many green and sustainable features to help keep operating costs low for new homeowners such as high efficiency boilers with programmable thermostats, high performance energy star windows, low flush toilets and shower heads and faucets and energy star appliances.  JAS’ newest homeownership development  at 823 Main Street was awarded Platinum status under the LEED™ for Homes program.

JAS’ most recent projects are:

Windsor Street Condominiums424-430 Windsor Street Condominiums

Construction was completed in November 2012 on the conversion of the former Immaculate Conception Church and rectory buildings into 14 affordable condominium units. As an adaptive reuse of existing buildings all units are unique; many with high ceilings and arched windows but all with high-efficiency systems and durable finishes intended to be economical and long lasting for the many families with children who own the apartments.  The project which received a Preservation Award  from the Cambridge Historical Commission includes 1 one-bedroom, 6 two-bedroom, 6 three-bedroom and 1 four-bedroom units. By the Summer of 2013 all units had be sold, residents had received extensive training on condo ownership and had elected a board of trustees from amongst the owners.  All units were sold to first time homebuyers with 5 of the units going to families with incomes between 80% and 100% of area median income and the remaining units to families with incomes below 80% area median income.

823 Main Street Condominiums

823 Main Street was completed in the Fall of 2009 and consist of 10 units including 2 one-bedroom, 2 two-bedroom and 6 three-bedroom units all sold to households with incomes at or below 80% of area median income.  823 Main Street was Just A Starts 1st LEED project and was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating, LEED Platinum.*  The USGBC’s LEED rating system is a whole systems approach to construction that is intended to insure that buildings have a lighter footprint on the planet and are healthy places to live.  Main Street’s green building features included roof top solar panels, storm water retention structures, drip irrigation, high efficiency mechanical systems, renewable and recycled content materials and finishes, high quality control of the insulating and air sealing of the building and many other features.


Contact Person:

Peter Graham (petergraham(at)justastart.org or 617-494-0444 x 331)


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