West Newton Armory

Newton Housing Facts


There were over 15 times as many applicants for affordable housing units than there were units in the three most recent developments in Newton.1
Citywide over 30% of all households are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing.2
For those households in Newton with income less than $75,000, three-quarters of both homeowners and renters are cost burdened.3
As of 2022, the median sales price in Newton for a single-family home has more than doubled since 2010 from $737,000 to $1.6 million making Newton even more out of reach for many families.4
The price of a single family home has averaged close to 75% more than a condominium during the past 5 years. As of Sept. 2022 single-family homes were $1.6 million and condos were $900,000.5
However, most of Newton’s residential districts only allow the more expensive single-family homes restricting ownership opportunities.
Fewer households who live in multifamily homes have children under 18 than those in single family homes in Newton. (28% of multifamily households and 38% of single family households).
Of the households who rent, only 20% have children under 18.6
The median income in Newton was almost 45% higher in 2020 than in 2010 as the cost to buy or rent in Newton has gone up by so much.7
Only 27% of our school employees live in Newton.8
Newton is less racially diverse than Massachusetts as a whole: As of 2021, only 4.3% of our population is Black compared to 10.1% in the state, and only 4.7% is Hispanic compared to 12.8% in the state.9
The Newton Housing Authority waitlist for families runs more than 10 years. For applications for emergency housing priority, the wait is more than 5 years. The wait for senior and disabled housing is at least 3-5 years.10

Sustainability & Climate Change

Because sprawl requires more driving, the increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) since 1990 has offset any reductions in emissions that might have resulted from greater fuel efficiency.11
The largest factor in a family’s greenhouse gas emissions is the number of cars owned. With closer proximity to Boston and public transportation, households in Newton drive less and own fewer cars than households in more distant suburbs.12
For example, on average, Newton households drive 14,200 miles/year and own 1.6 cars while Hopkinton households drive 28,500 miles/year and own 2.3 cars on average.
Therefore, on average households in Hopkinton emit 13,000 pounds more CO2 per year due to driving than ones in Newton. This is the equivalent of cutting down 270 mature hardwood trees such as a maple or an oak.13
Multi-family homes use 31% less energy/ft2 than single family homes for heating, on average.14
More parking causes more car ownership and more driving while reducing transit use.15
The embodied carbon in an underground parking garage is greater than in a mid-rise building above it.16

1 Local Preference in Affordable Housing: Analysis of Data from Recent Rental Developments, June 2021.

22020 ACS Table S2503 Income: Homeowners and Renters.

3 ACS Table S2503: Financial Characteristics, 2020.

4 Newton Tax Classification Booklets and The Warren Group, September 2022 Sales, Prices by Town.

5 Newton Tax Classification Booklets and The Warren Group, December 2021 Sales, Prices by Town.

6 B25012: Tenure by Families and Presence of Own Children in Newton, 2021.
DP04: Selected Housing Characteristics in Newton, 2021.

7 ACS Table S1901: Income in the Past 12 Months, 2021.

8 Data provided to CHAPA by Newton Human Resources, 2019.

9 DP05: ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates, 2021.

10 Newton Housing Authority FAQ.

11 “Land Use and Transportation Policies Addressing Climate Change.” Sara C. Bronin, Chapter 14 In Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Third Edition, 2022 Forthcoming.

12 “Evaluating the impacts of transit-oriented developments (TODs) on household transportation expenditures in California.” Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 90, January 2021.

13 Massachusetts Vehicle Municipal Summary Statistics (Municipal), MAPC; Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle, EPA; and The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe, U.S. Forestry Service.

14 U.S. Building Stock Characterization Study A National Typology for Decarbonizing U.S. Buildings, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2022.

15 “What Do Residential Lotteries Show Us About Transportation Choices?” Urban Studies Journal, 2022.

16 How Homes For Cars Can Emit as Much Carbon as Homes for People. Lloyd Alter, 2021.