ArtistSpace Program

Frequently Asked Questions


Artist Certification

When will the next Peer Review Panel for Artist Certification be held?

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will be overseeing the artist certification process going forward. The next deadline is December 30, 2016. Information, including a new application form, is available on their website.

How long will it take to hear back about my artist certification application?

The peer review panel meets shortly after the deadline. You should hear back, by mail, about three weeks after the deadline.

How long is the certification good for?

The certification is good for eight years, and you can get recertified.

What do I need to do to get recertified?

You will need to fill out the same form as is required for a first time applicant, but there is a box you can check to indicate that you are applying for a recertification. Recertification applications are due at the same time as new certifications. All documentation can be found at the Artist Certification page.

Do I need to be a resident of the city of Boston to be certified?

No, though some of the units available through a lottery may have a preference for City of Boston residents.

Artist Live/Work Properties

How are Artist Spaces created?

The Boston Planning & Development Agency actively encourages developers to create units that are specifically built out for artists and artists’ needs. Many, but not all of these units, are also income-restricted.

When do Artist Space units become available?

There is no regular schedule as to when an Artist Space will become available. Artist Spaces become available either when construction of the building has been completed, or when an owner or tenant moves out of an existing Artist Space unit. For new units, when a building is nearing the end of construction, the developer hires a marketing agent to conduct the sales of both market-rate and income restricted/affordable units. The marketing and sale of the income restricted units is done according to a marketing plan that has been approved by the City of Boston’s Fair Housing Department and the Boston Planning & Development Agencys Compliance Department, and may include a lottery. See the following FAQs for more information.

For existing Artist homeownership units (condominiums), the seller will work with a real estate agent to market the property. For rental units, the owner will market the units, and some property owners/managers have created waiting lists.

Where are the artist live/work spaces located? 

For information on the locations of Artist Space live/work properties, go to the ArtistSpace Properties page

How do I apply for artist live/work space for sale through the BPDA Artist Space Initiative?

Affordable units are sold through an application and lottery process. When affordable units begin marketing, ads run in local neighborhood newspapers that list dates to pick up and return applications for the units. At the same time the ads for affordable units are placed, the BPDA sends out a notice by email to all of the artists who have signed up to receive emails through this program with information about the units for sale and how to apply.

The applications usually must be picked up in person. (These applications are not the same as the Artist Certification Application, which must also be submitted and approved in order for an artist to be eligible to qualify for an artist preference or to purchase a unit with an artist requirement. Most artists apply for artist certification in advance of applying for artist live/work units, so their certification, which lasts for five years, is already in place.)

More Questions about Income-Restricted Affordable Housing

Many of questions you may have can be found in our information on general income-restricted/affordable housing. Including:

Artist Work-Only Properties

Does the BPDA manage artist work-only spaces?

No, the BPDA does not own or manage artist work-only spaces. As a courtesy, the BPDA does provide a list of artist work-only properties, but the BPDA has no direct relationship with these properties. Please contact the property directly for information about availability.

For information about the ArtistSpace program, please contact Tim Davis, Housing Policy Manager, by email or by telephone at 617.918.4302.

  • Boston Planning & Development Agency
  • One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
  • Tel: 617.722.4300  Fax: 617.248.1937
  • © 2017 Boston Planning & Development Agency