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Leased Housing/Section 8 Priorities and Preferences

Priority

Priority is a housing-related situation that affects your household’s present residential status. You can qualify for only one Priority at any given time. Certain priorities are given more points than others, and you will always be assigned to the highest Priority for which you qualify.

The BHA does not accept applications for Leased Housing/Section 8 programs if you cannot demonstrate that you at least qualify for Priority One.

Click on the link to open a form you can use to document the appropriate priority.
 

PBV to TBV:  95 points

If you have been a tenant in good standing in a Project-Based Voucher unit for one year or more, you qualify to receive 95 points if you apply for a Tenant-Based Voucher.
 

Super Priority:  75 points

The BHA will admit you to the Section 8 program before all other applicants on the waiting list if:

1. You reside in BHA public housing, and:

  • Your family is being temporarily displaced by the BHA; or

  • You or a member of your household is in imminent danger due to providing testimony or information regarding criminal activity; or

  • You or a member of your household is a victim of harassment, vandalism, intimidation or coercion; or 

  • You or a member of your household has been or is currently a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking; or 

  • The BHA cannot approve your request for Reasonable Accommodation at any of the BHA’s public housing sites.

2. You are a participant in the BHA’s Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Program, and:

  • You or a member of your household is in imminent danger due to providing testimony or information regarding criminal activity; or

  • You or a member of your household is a victim of harassment, vandalism, intimidation or coercion; or 

  • You or a member of your household has been or is currently a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking; or 

  • The Mod Rehab Owner and/or BHA cannot approve your request for Reasonable Accommodation at any of the BHA’s Mod Rehab sites. 


City of Boston Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness (ICHH) Programs Priority:  50 points

1. Enhancing Economic Self-Sufficiency (EESS) Program:  This program is designed to permanently solve homelessness amongst a subset of homeless families residing in family emergency shelter in the City of Boston. Targeted will be households with housing barriers related to limited rental housing history and constrained income potential. Typically, these will be single, younger heads of households without educational degrees or work experience. Households will be offered: (1) 18 months of support services focused on bettering income opportunity, and (2) Section 8 rental assistance.
 
2. Housing and Stabilizing Chronically Homeless with Supports and Employment (HSCHSE) Program:  This program is designed to permanently solve homelessness amongst long-term homeless shelter inhabitants. The program will combine three program features; (1) permanent housing, (2) case management, and (3) services linking housing stabilization with vocational support and job opportunity.

3. Linking Treatment to Housing Program:  This program serves chronically homeless individuals with mental illness and substance abuse issues. The goal is to improve residential stability and reduce psychiatric symptoms and substance use.

4. Leading the Way Home:  This program is designed to permanently solve homelessness for families residing in family emergency shelters. Households are offered the following supports (1) 18 months of support services focused on stabilization and self-sufficiency, and (2) Section 8 rental assistance. 


The U.S. Congress and HUD Homeless Study Priority: 50 points

Boston has been selected to be one of 12 communities nationwide participating in a study of various service and housing interventions in ending homelessness for families. The study will compare four types of housing assistance and services to determine which interventions work best. The four study interventions that will be offered to eligible households include transitional housing, rapid re-housing, usual care and subsidy only. The evaluation will use an experimental research design, with eligible families assigned at random to one of the four designated housing and services interventions.


Priority One: 30 points

The BHA grants Priority One status to applicants whose circumstances fall within one of the following categories: 

1. Displacement due to a disaster, such as flood or fire, that results in the un-inhabitability of your home;

2. Displacement Due to Domestic Violence/Dating Violence/or Stalking against one or more of the household members:  BHA form and HUD form.

3. Victim of hate crime. You or a member of your household has been a victim of one or more hate crimes.

4. Avoidance of reprisal/witness protection: You or a member of your household provided information or testimony on criminal activities to a law enforcement agency: and the agency recommends the relocation to avoid or minimize risk of violence.

5. Court-ordered no-fault eviction: Your household is being evicted by a court because of:

  • Landlord action beyond your control; and

  • The eviction occurred despite you meeting all lawfully imposed lease conditions; and

  • The eviction was not the result of failure to comply with federal or state policies regarding under-occupied and over-crowded units.

6. Condemnation of House/Apartment: Your housing has been declared unfit for habitation by an agency of government through no fault of your own.

7. Other Government Action: You are required to permanently move from your residence by a Federal, State or local governmental action.

8. For Disabled Persons only, inaccessibility of a critical element of their current residence.

9. Homelessness: Your household lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime habitation OR the primary nighttime dwelling is a shelter or is not designed for a regular sleeping place.

10. Graduates of Project-Based Units Who Have Fulfilled Supportive Service Goals.

 

Preference

The BHA gives preference to an applicant on the waiting list if they qualify for one of the Preference categories listed below. Preference points are cumulative and are added to Priority points. You may qualify for more than one Preference at a time.
 
1. Elderly/Non-Elderly Disabled Person: 5 points
You can claim this preference if you apply as a single individual and you are elderly or disabled.

2. Veterans:  3 points
You can claim this preference if a member of your household is a veteran, or is the spouse, surviving spouse, dependent parent or child of a veteran, or the divorced spouse of a Veteran who is the legal guardian of that veteran’s child. 

3. Working Families:  1 point
You can claim this preference if an adult member of your household is employed full time and who has been employed for the last six months.  You can also claim this regardless of employment status if you and your spouse, or the sole member is age 62 or older, or is disabled.

4. Displaced Boston Tenant:  2 points
You can claim this preference if you are displaced from a unit within the City of Boston.
 

Priorities and Preferences in BHA's Administrative Plan

For detailed background on Leased Housing/Section 8 Priorities and Preferences, read the BHA’s Administrative Plan.