What is a Transfer?
A transfer is the process of relocating from one Boston Housing Authority (BHA) Public Housing development to a different one when household circumstances change.
Resident Transfer Guide
Learn all about transfers in the Transfer Information Guide, including eligibility and the process that the BHA Transfer Review Committee (TRC) uses to make decisions about transfers. Please read the Transfer Guide before completing your Transfer Request Form with your manager.
Transfers You Can Request
Unit Problems/Maintenance Needs: If a unit becomes unsafe or unhealthy due to maintenance conditions that cannot be repaired in a timely manner while the unit is occupied, your household may qualify for a transfer. BHA Management will determine if the transfer is warranted.
Unit size/Over- and Under-Housed: If your household is living in an apartment that is too large or too small for the household size, you may be eligible for a transfer. For example, one individual living in a three-bedroom apartment is over-housed. A family of five living in a two bedroom apartment is under-housed.
Medical Reasons/Reasonable Accommodation: If you have a serious physical or mental illness or impairment that is expected to be of long duration, you can request a transfer if a different apartment would substantially improve your health. If you are disabled and require different housing features to accommodate the particular disability (such as needing a wheelchair accessible unit), you may qualify for a transfer. Read about how to apply for a Reasonable Accommodation and access related forms.
Civil Rights: If you are an alleged victim of physical harassment, extreme or repeated vandalism to personal property or extreme or repeated verbal harassment, threats, intimidation, or coercion, which is bias motivated and which cannot be remedied in other ways, you may qualify for a transfer.
Domestic Violence/Public Safety: If you are being threatened in some way, including through domestic violence or as a result of retaliation because you are a witness to a crime, you may qualify for a transfer.
Designated Housing: If you are an elderly resident living at a family development and you wish to transfer to an elderly/disabled development, you may be eligible for a transfer. Likewise, if you are a non-elderly/disabled resident living at an elderly/disabled development who wishes to transfer to a family development, you may also be eligible for a transfer.
Studio to One-Bedroom: If you have lived in a studio apartment for at least two years and you wish to transfer to a one-bedroom unit, you may be eligible for a transfer.
How to Request a Transfer
If you qualify for a transfer and wish to make a request, complete the Transfer Request Form with your manager. We strongly encourage you to work closely with your development manager or staff on your request.
To request a transfer, submit the Transfer Request Form and supply all requested supporting documentation to your development’s manager. BHA’s Transfer Review Committee (TRC) will determine if a transfer is awarded.
The manager submits the completed transfer request with the supporting documentation to the Occupancy Department. BHA's Transfer Process Coordinator processes the request and may request any additional supporting documentation necessary for the TRC to make a final determination.
Once you’re approved
You will receive a letter informing you of the approval. You will be placed on one or more development waiting lists, depending on your household’s situation and needs. All residents with approved transfer requests are ranked based on the transfer type, application date, bedroom size, and special characteristics needed in the unit. Residents with approved transfer requests are offered units as they become available – please do not expect to receive an offer of a new unit immediately after your transfer is approved!
After BHA offers you a transfer, you have five (5) business days to accept or refuse the offer. If you accept the offer, you will have thirty (30) days to move to the new unit from the date the housing offer was made.
What happens if I am denied?
If your transfer request is denied, you will receive a letter stating the reasons for the denial. You may appeal the denial, and the letter will provide information on how to request an appeal of the decision.
Transfers Initiated by BHA
Modernization/Redevelopment: A property renovation or community redevelopment project may require that certain units be vacant.
Unit Problems/Maintenance Needs: If a unit becomes unsafe or unhealthy due to maintenance conditions that cannot be repaired in a timely manner while the unit is occupied, BHA Management will determine if the transfer is warranted.
Unit Size/Over- and Under-Housed: If your household is living in an apartment that is too large or too small for the household size, BHA Management will determine if the transfer is warranted. For example, one individual living in a three-bedroom apartment is over-housed. A family of five living in a two-bedroom apartment is under-housed.
No longer requiring wheelchair accessible features: If another applicant or resident has a serious physical or mental illness or impairment that is expected to be of long duration, or if an applicant or resident is disabled and requires specific housing features to accommodate the particular disability (such as needing a wheelchair accessible unit), and your household does not, BHA Management will determine if the transfer is warranted.
If you have questions, start by asking your manager, reading the Transfer Information Guide and the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP). You may also contact the Transfer Process Coordinator at (617) 988-4545 or the Occupancy Status Information Line at (617) 988-3400.
Read common questions and answers about the Transfer process.