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Housing Policy --- Section 3


Policy Statement
Projects must be competitively bid in order to achieve the lowest reasonable construction cost and to provide increased fair access to the economic opportunities created through the project.


Projects that receive City funding only (no land1*):  Developers must solicit and receive bids from at least 3 General Contractors.  Solicitation of Bids should to be based on construction documents and specifications, which are nearly complete (typically 95%) in order to achieve the most accurate pricing of the project.

The solicitation of bid documents must include clear criteria for the selection of the general contractor.  The criteria includes the contractor’s financial qualifications, experience with projects of a similar type and scope, performance on past and current projects, compliance with state and local requirements as appropriate, such as Boston Residency & Jobs Policy, Davis-Bacon Wage Rate compliance, and project construction costs. DND must review and approve all solicitation of bid documents prior to their issuance to General Contractors.

The Developer is not required to select the contractor with the lowest bid, but must demonstrate in writing that there is sufficient justification if a contactor with a higher price is selected.  It is expected that the lowest price from the qualified bidders will be used to negotiate with the selected general contractor and in determining the final amount of the construction.  The final contract amount is subject to DND approval.

If the developer does not receive bids from 3 qualified contractors, DND reserves the right to require that the project be re-bid.   

Under certain circumstances and upon submission of a written request, DND may consider an alternative to the above Policy regarding solicitation of Bids from General Contractors.

Project Developers that are also licensed general contractors and intend to perform the duties of a general contractor (“Developer/Contractor”) for the project are required to follow the process listed below in order to establish the final contract price.
  • The Developer/Contractor must agree to solicit 3 or more competitive prices for all of the sub-trades and submit the pricing information received to DND.  Also, the Developer/Contractor must agree to comply with all local requirements such as Boston Residency & Jobs Policy, Davis-Bacon Wage rates, if applicable, and any other requirement of local and federal funding sources and work cooperatively with DND to ensure the lowest reasonable costs for the development.  DND reserves the right to request an independent cost estimate prior to the final commitment of funding.

The RFP of Sites (land or buildings) for the Development of Affordable Housing:   If the majority of the project is being developed on City Owned land being provided under a Request for Proposal subject to Mass General Law 30B, then that open and competitive process is deemed to meet the above bidding requirements, as long as the applicant holds to the contract amount submitted in the response to the RFP.  During the development process, changes in the pricing may occur due to changes in the scope of work, however, it is expected that the selected developer would work cooperatively with DND to achieve the lowest reasonable construction cost and to provide increased fair access to the economic opportunities.   Therefore, DND reserves the right to request that the project solicit competitive bids for General Contractor or sub-contractors or obtain an independent cost estimate prior to the final designation.

The RFP for NSP funding for residential REO developments:   Proposals submitted under the open Neighborhood Stabilization Program RFP will be carefully evaluated for financial feasibility.  DND will conduct site visits for each property included in an application and review and approve the proposed Scope of Work, upon which the hard cost estimate shall be based.  For proposals with proposed hard costs in excess of $50,000, DND requires the developer to obtain prices from 3 independent contractors to ensure the costs reasonableness of hard costs. 

1 A project which include only a small percentage of land obtained from the City under a separate 30B process, shall be required to follow the DND bid policy.


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