Boston Housing Authority

For Public Housing > Paying Rent > Changes in Household

Changes in Household

Changes in your household are important because they can affect your rent amount and who is or is not allowed to live with you. Changes in the household are not the same as having a friend or relative visit with you for a short period of time. Boston Housing Authority’s (BHA) lease provides information about guests in your home. 

BHA residents should be aware of the following regarding changes in their households.

  • If there is an addition to the household of a minor child by birth, adoption, or court-awarded custody, you should notify BHA within 30 days. Advance approval by BHA is not required. If the minor is 14 years of age of older, BHA will formally screen the minor.

  • In the case of any other addition to the household – including someone that is living with or marrying a household member – advance BHA approval is required. BHA may permit the person to remain in the apartment until approval under a SPAR application, the process of adding someone to the household. The person’s income will usually be counted as part of household income and they must also be formally screened by the BHA.

  • Sometimes there are persons living in your household temporarily who wouldn’t be regarded as part of your family. This can include a personal care attendant (PCA) or live-in aide or foster children or foster adults. BHA approval is necessary for such individuals and they must be screened in the same way as other residents, but their income will not be counted as part of the household income in setting rent. In addition, they may have no right to remain or apply to assume the lease if you pass away or are permanently institutionalized.

If someone who was part of the household has moved out, you should notify BHA of this within 30 days. In most cases the, BHA will ask for proof of a new address for the person.