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Rental Assistance Programs

Federal Rental Assistance Programs

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

DESCRIPTION:
Federal program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.

Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by the Boston Housing Authority (BHA). The BHA receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.

A family that is issued a housing voucher is responsible for finding a suitable housing unit of the family's choice where the owner agrees to rent under the program. This unit may include the family's present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the BHA.

A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the BHA on behalf of the participating family. The family then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.

ELIGIBILITY:
Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the BHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. In general, the family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. By law, a BHA must provide 75 percent of its voucher to applicants whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the area median income (federal extremely low category). Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location (See BHA income limits).

The Boston Housing Authority rental assistance waiting list is limited to applicants who are in certain emergency situations (See Priority One categories). These include: disaster, condemned housing, court-ordered/no-fault eviction, domestic violence, homelessness, displacement to avoid avoid reprisal, victim of hate crime, inaccessibility of dwelling unit, and loss of rent control.

If the BHA determines that your family is eligible for Priority One status, the BHA will put your name on the rental assistance waiting list. Once your name is reached on the waiting list, the BHA will contact you and schedule an eligibility interview.

HOW TO APPLY:
Apply for Rental Assistance (Section 8)

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
10,740


Family Unification Program (FUP)

DESCRIPTION:
The Family Unification Program provides Section 8 rental assistance to families whose lack of adequate housing is a primary cause of the separation, or imminent separation, of a child or children from their families.

ELIGIBILITY:
Eligible families must be referred by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS).

HOW TO APPLY:
Contact Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS)

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
300


Grandfamilies Program

DESCRIPTION:
Provides rental assistance to elderly or near elderly persons who have legal custody of minor children.

ELIGIBILITY:
Eligible families may be drawn from the BHA rental assistance waiting list or referred by Boston Aging Concerns Young & Old United.

HOW TO APPLY:
See Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
OR
Contact Boston Aging Concerns Young & Old United

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
50


Designated Housing Program

DESCRIPTION:
Provides rental assistance vouchers to non-elderly disabled individuals. The purpose of this program is to provide alternative housing opportunities for those disabled persons who may not receive assistance at developments which have established preferences for the admission of elderly families.

ELIGIBILITY:
Single applicants with a disability, under the age of 62, who are on the BHA elderly/disabled public housing waiting list or public housing residents.

HOW TO APPLY:
Apply for Elderly/Disabled Public Housing

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
200


Mainstream Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

DESCRIPTION:
Provides rental assistance vouchers to enable persons with disabilities to access affordable private housing of their choice. This program assists persons with disabilities who often face difficulties in locating suitable and accessible housing on the private market.

ELIGIBILITY:
Single applicants with a disability, under the age of 62, who are on the BHA rental assistance waiting list.

HOW TO APPLY:
See Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
200


Welfare-to-Work Program (WtW)

DESCRIPTION:
Innovative strategy to coordinate federal housing assistance with welfare reform. This program is coordinated with local welfare and workforce development agencies.

ELIGIBILITY:
Applicants currently on the rental assistance waiting list who are presently eligible to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or would have been eligible to receive TANF in the preceding 24 months. Persons may express interest in applying for this program during the initial intake interview or by responding to a questionnaire sent to all eligible persons on the waiting list.

HOW TO APPLY:
See Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
300


Project Based Voucher Program

DESCRIPTION:
These subsidies are located in specific developments across the city.

ELIGIBILITY:
Applicants currently on the rental assistance waiting list. Certain developments have additional restrictions on their units (e.g. elderly or disabled families in need of support services).

HOW TO APPLY:
See Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
OR
Contact Development Managers


State Rental Assistance Programs
Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program

DESCRIPTION:
State program offers tenant-based vouchers, which are known as Mobile, valid for any housing unit that meets the standards of the state sanitary code. The BHA administers the program locally.

ELIGIBILITY:
An applicant whose household income does not exceed 200% of the prevailing Federal Poverty Level. The BHA will also screen criminal records prior to admitting an applicant to the program.

HOW TO APPLY:
Apply for Rental Assistance (Section 8)

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
800


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