Benefits: Helpful Links/Housing Resources
Public Housing Authority Administration Plans
Every Local Housing Authority (LHA) has an Administration Plan, approved by HUD, which explains how the LHA administers its rental assistance and public housing programs. Administration Plans detail such things as local preferences for housing, appeal processes, income limits, and eviction processes.
Housing Choice Voucher Program Administration Guidebook
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (also known as Section-8) Guidebook, issued by HUD, details how local housing authorities should be administering their HCV programs. The guidebook includes information on waitlists, eviction protocols, eligibility, inspectional standards, and more.
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations is the regulatory language from which the Administration Guidebook and the PHA Administration Plans are derived. The regulations here cover a wide range of public housing programs, including public housing, voucher programs, and home ownership.
State Law Per State-Aided Housing
Massachusetts is somewhat unusual, and fortunate, to have state-funded affordable housing in addition to federally- funded programs. This is the central regulation which governs how Local Housing Authorities (LHAs) administer their state-funded housing programs specifically. This regulation includes language pertaining to: Public Family Housing (Chapter 200 and Chapter 705); Public Elderly/Disabled Housing (Chapter 667); some types of Special Needs Housing (Chapter 689/167); the Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP); and the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP).
Income and Asset Limits For State and Federal Vouchers
HUD Definition of Homeless
There are particular types of housing for whom only homeless individuals or families can apply. This is the definition that HUD uses.
NOTE: some programs require applicants to be chronically homeless, which uses a different, stricter definition.
HUD Homeless Assistance Programs
The links here detail three of HUD’s primary homeless-assistance housing programs: the Supportive Housing Program (SHP); the Shelter-Plus-Care program (S+C); and the Single Room Occupancy program (SRO).
HUD VASH (Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing)
HUD has recently created a new voucher, targeted specifically to veterans. This link provides FAQs on eligibility, portability, funding, and more. VASH subsidies have different eligibility requirements than other types of Housing Choice Vouchers (Section-8), so if you have, or believe you have, a VASH subsidy, it is best to consult with your local VA Office on program specifics.
This is the general HUD webpage. Information on a range of federal housing programs can be found here.
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
DHCD (The Department of Housing and Community Development) is the Massachusetts agency providing and overseeing all state-funded housing in the Commonwealth Regional Housing Non-Profits.
DHCD works with nine non-profit housing agencies in Massachusetts that administer various state and federal housing voucher programs. All of the non-profits offer Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) – free, public, drop-in centers for individuals to get advice on applying for, or keeping, affordable housing in Massachusetts. In addition to offering vouchers and HCECs, each regional housing non-profit, offers some unique programs and services. Use the link above to locate the housing non-profit closest to you and to learn more about their services.
Massachusetts Housing Authorities
Most cities and towns in Massachusetts have a local housing authority (LHA), also sometimes called a public housing authority (PHA). The link above provides a list of all LHAs in Massachusetts, along with their contact information.
Housing Consumer Education Centers
Each regional housing non-profit agency in Massachusetts offers a Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) – a free, public, drop-in center for individuals to get advice on applying for, or keeping, affordable housing in Massachusetts. The link above provides contact information for all nine agencies, each covering a different geographic region in the state.