Section 8 Housing Openings in Massachusetts

Eligibility Team
Researcher & Writer
December 13, 2017

Low-income individuals and families find affordable housing  options through the Massachusetts Section 8 Housing Voucher program — a  program funded by the Housing and Urban Development program (HUD). It's  run by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD),  which has eight regional offices throughout the state, as well as over  100 local public housing authority (PHA) offices throughout the state.

Massachusetts’ Section 8 Housing Program

Massachusetts’s  Section 8 Housing Voucher program provides approved, low-income  families with rental vouchers, which are used to pay their monthly rent  as long as the rental unit they choose is a Section 8 approved housing  option.

Section 8 Eligibility in Massachusetts

Eligibility for Section 8 is based on your family’s total household income. The limits are established by the HUD program,  and at least 75 percent of the available housing vouchers have to be  awarded to families whose total income doesn’t exceed 30 percent of the  area’s median income limits.

How do you qualify for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts?

To  qualify for Section 8, your family needs to meet the income  requirements set by HUD. Additionally, criminal background and credit  checks are conducted by the PHA or  regional office. Participants can’t be lifetime registered sex  offenders or have a criminal record that includes violent or  drug-related crimes.

How do I apply for Section 8 Housing in Massachusetts?

To  apply for Massachusetts’s Section 8 Housing Voucher program, contact  the PHA or regional DHCD office for the area in which you wish to live.  Then, fill out the application to begin the preliminary screening to be  placed on the waiting list. It’s important to remember that waiting list  times vary depending on the location, and can take years. The PHA or  DHCD regional office can tell you an estimated time frame for an area's  list.

How to apply for low-income housing

Fill out an  application at the local PHA or DHCD regional office for the area you  wish to live. The application goes through a preliminary screening  process before you’re placed on a waiting list. Once space is open for  you, an appointment is scheduled for your application review. Once  approved, you receive your housing voucher, which gives you 120 days to  find Section-8-approved housing.

Section 8 Housing Massachusetts Application

The  application requires information about your household members,  including the names, birthdates, and social security numbers.  Additionally, it requires information about your income and any assets  you have, as well as any circumstances, such as disabilities or  homelessness that may place you on a waiting list with a higher  priority.

Massachusetts Section 8 Landlord

If you own  property in Massachusetts, and you wish to be a part of the Section 8  program, you need to contact the local PHA or DHCD regional office that  serves the home’s area. Each Section 8 property has to go through a  screening and inspection process to ensure it’s an adequate living  space.

Section 8 Waiting List Massachusetts

Each area has  its own waiting list. Some are longer than others, which is why some  areas stop taking applications at certain times of the year. Some  situations place families at a higher priority for housing assistance,  so preferences are commonly given to:

  • Elderly people (age 62 and older)
  • Near-elderly people (age 55 and older)
  • Families who are considered extremely low income
  • Health conditions and disabilities affecting a person’s housing needs
  • Homeless people
  • Participants in the Metro Program in Wayland School
  • Rent-burdened single people
  • People living in substandard housing

Boston Section 8 Waiting List

The Boston Housing Authority receives approximately 10,000 Section 8 applications each year, so  there is a long waiting list. Depending on your application status, the  points you receive when applying for housing, and the preferences you  qualify for, the waiting list can take anywhere from one year to five  years. The list goes by a points system, and most applicants need to be  considered at least a Priority One status, which includes people who:

  • Are homeless
  • Displaced due to disaster
  • Displaced due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking of one or more of the household members
  • Victim of a hate crime
  • Are in the witness protection program
  • Have a court-ordered eviction, which is no fault of their own
  • Their current house or apartment has been condemned
  • Are required to permanently moved due to federal, state, or local government action
  • Graduates of project-based units who have fulfilled supportive service goals

Additional preference points are also given to people who:

  • Are elderly or are a non-elderly disabled person
  • Veterans
  • Working families
  • Displaced Boston tenants

People  who are homeless or graduating from a project-based housing program  receive even more priority points, so you should consider applying to  local project-based housing options while your name is on the waiting  list for Section 8.

Springfield Section 8 Waiting List

To  apply for Springfield’s Section 8 program, you need to contact the  Springfield Housing Authority at 413-785-4597. Alternatively,  applications are taken in person at their office, which is located at:

67 Sanderson Street, Office 1, Springfield, MA 01107

Applications can also be submitted online through MASSNAHRO Centralized Waiting List. There is a waiting list, which is updated every two years, but people can submit applications at any time.

Steps to Receiving Your Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

Step 1: Contact the PHA or the DHCD regional office for the area you wish to live to determine the exact application process.

Step  2: Complete your preliminary application when the PHA or DHCD regional  office opens enrollment for the area. Keep in mind, the MASSNAHRO Centralized Waiting List is always open and allows you to apply for more than one area at the same time.

Step 3: Wait for the PHA or the DHCD regional office to review your application and place you on the waitlist.

Step 4: Confirm your waiting list position periodically. Also, keep all of your contact and income information updated.

Step  5: When you reach the top of the waiting list, schedule your briefing  appointment to turn in your paperwork, which includes birth certificates  for all household members, income and employment verification, and  verification such as bank statements and/or car titles for any assets  you own.

Step 6: Wait for the verification process to be approved.  Once it's approved, you receive your housing vouchers. This gives you  120 days to find Section 8 approved housing.

Section 8 Income Limits in Massachusetts

Massachusetts  Section 8 income limits vary, depending on the area you wish to live.  This is because the limits are based on a percentage of the median  income for that specific area. Typically, in order to qualify for  Section 8 housing families must have a monthly income below 50 percent  of the median income for the area.

Eligibility Team
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Eligibility Team
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