Boston Housing Authority

Policies > Admissions And Continued Occupancy Policy Ch 5: Determination of Eligibility

Admissions And Continued Occupancy Policy

Chapter 5:Determination of Eligibility

5.1 Preliminary Eligibility

5.1.1 Eligibility

Eligibility is determined differently under federal and state regulations. 

5.1.1.1 Notice of Preliminary Eligibility

Applicants shall receive a Notice of Preliminary Eligibility for all developments/AMPs to which they applied to and met the Threshold Requirements. This notice shall contain:
  • A listing of the development(s)/AMP(s) to which they applied
  • The size and type of apartment they qualify for
  • Any approved Priority and/or Preference(s)
  • An estimated wait time
The Notice shall further inform Applicants that they are responsible for notifying the BHA in writing of any change to their household including any approved priority status or change of address and that all information will be verified as part of a final eligibility process.

5.1.2  Threshold Requirements

A. Family Program

In order to be preliminarily Eligible for the Family Program a Household must meet three threshold requirements: 

1.  The Household must qualify as a "Family";

2.  The Household must have an Annual Income at or below program guidelines, as defined below; and

3.  The Applicant must not owe uncollected rent and/or miscellaneous charges (for any program administered by the BHA or Other Publicly Assisted Housing Program[1]).

B. Elderly and Disabled Program 

In order to be preliminarily eligible for the Elderly and Disabled Program a Household must meet four threshold requirements: 

1. The Household must qualify as a “Family”;

2.  The Head of Household, Co-Head of Household or Sole Member must be 62 years of age or older (60 years of age or older for State-Aided Housing) or handicapped or Disabled.

3. The Household must have an Annual Income at or below program guidelines, as defined below; and

4. The Applicant must not owe uncollected rent and/or miscellaneous charges (for any program administered by the BHA or Other Publicly Assisted Housing Program[2].)

5.1.3  Family

Applicants must qualify as a “Family”, which is defined as:

1.  Two or more persons regularly living together, related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or operation of law; or who are not so related, but share income and resources and intend to live together in BHA housing;

2.  This definition includes single persons.[3]

3.  Other persons, including foster children, Personal Care Attendants[4], and members temporarily absent (including children temporarily assigned to foster care[5]), may be considered a part of the household   if they are living or will live regularly with the household.

5.1.4  Income Qualifications

Persons meeting BHA income qualifications are those whose Annual Income at the time of admission, does not exceed the income limits for occupancy established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), as applicable.  Income limits are posted separately in  BHA offices.

5.1.5  Applicant Owing a Balance to the BHA or Other Publicly Assisted Housing Program

The BHA will check for past balances upon receipt of the Preliminary Application.  An Applicant who applies owing a balance consisting of uncollected rent and/or miscellaneous charges (for any program administered by the BHA or Other Publicly Assisted Housing Program) will be entered into the BHA database as Preliminary Eligible and the Applicant shall be notified in writing regarding the past debt and the need to pay the balance in full. The notice of preliminary eligibility shall advise the Applicant of the opportunity to dispute the past debt or to establish any mitigating circumstances and/or reasonable accommodation and of the right to seek a review of the determination on mitigating circumstances and reasonable accommodation. The Authority will consider mitigating circumstances and/or reasonable accommodation such as health problems, incidents of domestic or dating violence or stalking, or other applicable circumstances in evaluating whether the applicant shall be deemed responsible of payment of the past debt or deemed ineligible for the BHA public housing programs. All applicants will be required to have paid in full any amount owed prior to entering the final eligibility process unless the applicant has established mitigating circumstances or qualifies for a reasonable accommodation.  All applicants shall be entitled to due process as outlined in Chapter 4.1.4.

5.2  Final Eligibility

5.2.1  Eligibility Determination

In order to be determined eligible, the Applicant, and other members of the Applicant's household must demonstrate through verified information of past and present conduct, the ability, either alone or with a reasonable accommodation, if the Applicant household member is a Disabled Person, to meet the resident selection criteria found in this policy, including compliance with the terms of BHA's lease, and any other BHA rules governing tenancy.  In determining final eligibility the BHA will, in all cases, consider Mitigating Circumstances including and not limited to incidents of domestic or dating violence or stalking, and, any  request for a reasonable accommodation on account of a Disability.

5.2.2  Qualified and Unqualified Applicants

To determine final eligibility, verified information will be secured by the BHA and the Applicant (See 5.3) and evaluated and a determination will be made by the BHA with respect to:
  1. Eligibility of the Applicant household as a Family;

  2. Eligibility of the Applicant Household as an Elderly Household or Disabled Person;

  3. Eligibility of the Applicant household with respect to income limits for admission;

  4. Apartment size and design and whether an accessible or modified apartment is required for the household;

  5. Priority and/or Preference category (if any) to which the household belongs;

  6. Qualification of the Applicant household with respect to the Applicant Screening Criteria.

  7. The Applicant head of household must have verifiable identification with photograph of that Applicant.

  8. Each household member must have a Social Security number or certify that he/she has no number. In addition, for Applicants for federally assisted housing only, each household member must document that s/he is a citizen of United States or has eligible Non-Citizen status, or who is otherwise eligible for continued assistance or prorated assistance under applicable regulations.[6]

  9. The calculated pro-rated rent for admission shall not exceed 50% of the household’s total gross income (federally funded programs only).

Factors that determine that an Applicant household is Eligible and Qualified can be found in the sections below.

5.3  Screening

5.3.1  General Verification Requirements 

1.  What must be verified

All information concerning an Applicant  household’s composition, income, Priority status, Preferences, request Good Cause or reasonable accommodation such as the need for special apartment features, and ability to reside in public housing under the terms of the BHA’s Lease (Screening) must be verified and documented.  Except for determination of Priority status, which is completed prior to the Personal Interview and Screening, all information shall be verified during Screening.
 
2.  Documentation

All documents related to verification shall be maintained in the Applicant’s file folder.
Documentation used as part of the verification process may include:
  • Copies of documents that will be retained in the applicant's file folder, where the original is not otherwise required by law or regulation.

  • Checklists completed as part of the interview process and signed by the Applicant and/or the Occupancy Specialist.

  • Verification forms completed and signed by third parties and/or Applicant.

  • Reports of all interviews, telephone conversations or personal contact with or regarding the Applicant household including date of the conversation, source of the information, name and position of the individual contacted, name and position of staff member receiving information and a written summary of the information received.

  • All correspondence received for or on behalf of the applicant.

  • Applicant Background Check and Eviction Reports.

3.  Misrepresentation or Falsification of Information

An Applicant’s knowing falsification, misrepresentation, or concealment of information will be considered grounds for denying admission to BHA housing.

In the event that the Occupancy Staff person believes that false and/or inaccurate information was or may have been submitted intentionally the Applicant Folder will be reviewed by the Assistant Director of Occupancy or the Director of Occupancy who will make the determination.  In this case, the intentional submission of false and/or inaccurate information may be used to disqualify the Applicant.

Unintentional errors, or errors that do not secure an advantage with regard to eligibility for admission, Priority status and/or Preferences, or amount of rent, will not be used as a basis for applicant rejection.

4.  The BHA will accept verification of screening information in the following order of preference:

  • Written Third Party Verification – Written verification by a third party is the most acceptable form of verification. 

  • Oral Third Party Verification - Staff documented verification from a third party by telephone will be accepted where written verification is impractical, or the third party is unresponsive to BHA’s written requests within ten (10) business days of mailing.  Staff shall utilize the same form that would have been mailed to the third party.  All the information required by the written verification form should be requested during the telephone contact.  BHA staff will complete the form on the basis of such information.  The contact person, date and time of conversation will be noted and the BHA staff person who made the telephone call will sign the form.  

  • Verification by Applicant-supplied documents – BHA will review documents submitted by the Applicant household when:  (a) the information requested does not require third-party verification (for example rent receipts, canceled checks for rental payments, lease agreements and monthly utility bills) or (b) third-party fax or telephone verification is impossible.  BHA may copy documents into the Applicant’s file.  Applicant supplied documents must be dated within sixty (60) days of receipt by the BHA.

  • Verification by Applicant certification – With the approval from the Director and/or Assistant Director of the Occupancy Department, the BHA may choose to accept an affidavit from an Applicant regarding housing and employment history only when verification by a third party written or oral, and verification by documents is impossible to obtain.

5.  General procedures applicable to screening information are as follows:

  1. Information subject to change – Verifications are valid for ninety (90) days from the date received by the BHA.  Information may be updated by telephone or fax for an additional thirty (30) days.  After one hundred and twenty (120) days, the Applicant must obtain new verification documentation.

  2. Information not subject to change – BHA will verify this information (e.g. verification of age or place of birth) only once during the screening process.

  3. Each Applicant folder will include a checklist documenting verification efforts and tracking progress.  The checklist will record the forms sent, date sent and the date the information is received by the BHA by mail, telephone or fax.  Upon receipt of all requested verifications, the BHA staff person will sign the checklist and certify as to the completeness of the file.

  4. Each BHA verification form sent to a third party will include the following:  (a) an explanation of why the information is being requested: and (b) authorization from the Applicant to release the information on the BHA’s General Release Form or Income Verification Form.

BHA will send third party verifications directly to the third party, not through Applicants.  The third party verifications shall include a self-addressed stamped envelope for return to BHA.  Verifications may also be faxed to a third party with a request for a return fax to the BHA.  BHA’s fax transmission to the third party shall be confirmed by printed receipt at the time of transmission or verified by telephone.  Annotation or copy of the receipt shall be kept in the Applicant’s file.

5.3.2  Interviews and Verification Process

As Applicant households approach the top of the BHA waiting list, they shall be scheduled for a personal interview with a BHA staff member trained to conduct interviews.  Applicants at this point will not be allowed to change any of the developments/AMPs of choice. During the personal interview the BHA will require Applicants to identify and provide documentation of “Good Cause” or Reasonable Accommodation that may affect their ability to accept an offered apartment due to special circumstances that may be applicable for their Household.  (See Section 6.2.5 for further detail). 

1.  Verification of Household Composition

The following information must be obtained for all Household Members as applicable:

A) Photo identification for Head of Household and Co-Head of Household (One of the following forms of photo identification (for the Head and Co-Head of Household only) :

  1. Driver’s license
  2. Registry of Motor Vehicles picture ID
  3. Passport
  4. Student or employer ID
  5. Other photo ID acceptable to BHA

B) Proof of Birth – all Household Members (One of the following proof of birth documents in order of preferred documentation):

  1. Original copies of Birth Certificates

  2. Passports

  3. Original Baptismal Records

  4. Original INS documents for eligible Non-Citizens( Federal only)

  5. Other records as deemed appropriate(Marriage certificate, DDG214, Statement from Social Security Administration)

*** A letter documenting pregnancy as well as anticipated date of birth will be required for all unborn children listed on application.

C) Proof of Relationships - applies to minor children or the care of adults in guardianship situations.  The following types of documents will be accepted:

  1. Birth certificates
  2. Court records of adoption
  3. Court records of guardianship
  4. Other written and sworn documentation under pains and penalty for perjury such as a written designation from the minor child’s parent.

D) Social Security Numbers  Federal regulations require that the social security numbers of all Applicant household members must be provided and verified except for those individuals who do not contend to have eligible immigration status.  One of the following types of documents may be accepted:

  1. Original of the Applicant household members social security card (BHA will make a copy for the file)
  2. Original Report from the Social Security Administration documenting the unavailability/non-assignment of a social security number for that Applicant household member (BHA will make a copy for the file)
  3. A written statement from the Social Security Administration documenting the social security number assigned for that Applicant household member.

E) Status as a full time student (for Applicant household members over 17 years of age)  Statement on the letterhead of an accredited educational institution stating that the Applicant household member is enrolled as a full-time student at that institution.

F) Status as an Elderly Household  Proof of Birth (see above) of Head and/or Co-Head of Household indicating an age of at least sixty years (State aided housing) or 62 years (Federally assisted housing)
 
G) Status as a Disabled Household or Disabled Person

  1. In general, the BHA shall not inquire as to the existence or nature of a disability, or ask for information related to a disability or the medical history of residents, Applicants, or their Household Members. However, when a Resident, Applicant or Household Member requests a Reasonable Accommodation or Reasonable Structural Modification on account of a disability, the BHA may require documentation as to the disability and the needs to be served by an accommodation or modification. A Resident, Applicant or Household Member may choose not to disclose the fact of a disability and request an accommodation or modification; however, in this case, the BHA is not obligated to provide any such accommodation or modification.

  2. If the Head or Co-Head of Household is claiming status as a Disabled Person, in order to qualify as a Disabled Household for purposes of Preference status or other reasons, such as eligibility for Elderly & Disabled Housing, proof that the individual is a Disabled Person must be obtained.  In addition, certain benefits may accrue to a household with a Disabled Person, such as the need to move into a specially adapted apartment.  Verification of the status of the household member as a Disabled Person must also be obtained in this case. 

  3. For purposes of determining whether or not the Disabled Applicant requires a particular location or an Apartment with special features, BHA Staff may inquire as to the effect of the Disability on the Applicant or Applicant household member

  4. The following documentation will be accepted for purposes of verifying the status of a household member as a Disabled Person:

    1. The household member’s sole source of income is SSI benefits, SSDI benefits, or disability retirement income (see income verification below);

    2. A certification from a Qualified Health Care Provider verifying that the household member meets the criteria of a Disabled Person for the state and federal housing programs.(See Definitions for eligibility of Disabled Persons)

H) U.S. Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizenship Status (Federal Program ONLY)  Each Household Member’s status as a U.S. citizen, Eligible Non-Citizen or ineligible Non-Citizen must be verified except as indicated below. Determination of eligibility or partial eligibility for public housing benefits (federal program only) is affected by citizen or Non-Citizen status.  At least one household member must be a citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen.
 
What Evidence Will Be Required? Evidence of U.S. Citizenship or "Eligible Immigration Status" will be required to be submitted for all household members regardless of their age, except as indicated below:

If you are a U.S. Citizen:
A signed Declaration of U.S. Citizenship.

If you are a Non-Citizen who is age 62 or over:
A signed Declaration of “Eligible Immigration Status.” You will also need to provide a “proof of age” document.

If you choose not to contend that you are a citizen or have eligible immigration status:
A completed form electing not to contend to such status

If you are a Non-Citizen who does not fall into one of the categories above:
A signed Declaration of “Eligible Immigration Status,” a signed Verification Consent Form and you must provide the original of one of the documents listed below:
 
1.  Registered Alien Card (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization  Service (INS) I-551 Form)
 
2.  Arrival /Departure Record (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization  Service (INS) I-94 Form); with one of the following annotations:
          (a) "Admitted as Refugee pursuant to Section 207";
          (b) "Section 208"or "Asylum";
          (c) "Section 243(h)"or "Deportation stayed by Attorney General";
          (d) "Paroled pursuant to Section 2112(d)(5) of the INAA";
 
3.  Arrival /Departure Record (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) I-94 Form) not annotated, accompanied by one of the following documents:
 
          (a)  A final court decision granting asylum to which no appeal was taken.
          (b) A letter from a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Asylum Officer granting asylum (if application was filed on or after October 1,1990) or from a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District Director (if application filed before October 1,1990).
          (c) A court decision granting the withholding of deportation.
          (d) A letter from a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Asylum Officer granting withholding of deportation ( if application was filed  on or after October 1, 1990).
 
4.  Temporary Resident Card (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) I-688 Form or also known/replaced by the I-766 Form which must be annotated with the notation either: "Section 245A" or "Section 210")
 
5.  Employment Authorization Card (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Employment Authorization Card I-688B Form which must be annotated with the notation either: "Provision of Law 274a.12(11)" or "Provision of Law 274a.12")
 
6.  Receipt From the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Indicating Application for Issuance of a Replacement Document 
 
For Applicants for Federal Program only, eligible Immigration Status for all Non-Citizen household members must be verified through the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service Unless There is an Election Not to Contend or all household members are 62 years of age or older and have submitted proof of age and a declaration of eligible non-citizen status

I) Verification of Income, Assets, Income Deductions and Income Exclusions

During the screening process, verification must be provided for all income, assets, income deductions and income exclusions pertaining to an Applicant household as outlined in this procedure. These items are verified for purposes of determination of income eligibility and determination of monthly rent.

Income, assets, deductions and exclusions shall be verified at Screening and the initial monthly rent shall be calculated by Occupancy Department Staff. The monthly rent is determined by adding together gross income from all sources for all Household Members, including income from assets, and reducing that income by allowable deductions and income exclusions, in accordance with Federal (HUD) and State (DHCD) laws and regulations . In Federal developments/AMPs, residents have the choice of paying either an Income Based Rent or a Flat Rent. (See 9.2)

In the event that the information used to calculate rent is more than ninety (90) days old at the time of signing the lease, the information shall be updated and re-verified and the rent recalculated by the Housing Manager.

Projections of annual income shall be based on the best available information, with due consideration to the past year's income of all household members, current income rate and effective date; and shall include projections for each income recipient in the household.

In order to ensure that all sources of income, assets, deductions and exclusions are considered in calculating annual income, Occupancy Staff shall interview all applicants during the screening process using the Occupancy Department’s Income Questionnaire.

In addition, in the case that the documentation provided by the applicant is not complete or is otherwise doubtful, the BHA may require the Household Member to sign a release allowing the BHA to obtain the information directly from the third party.

The following forms of verification of income, deductions, exclusions and assets will be accepted.

1. Income from Employment

  • A statement from the Employer stating the gross wages of the employee, including history or anticipated amounts of overtime or bonus to be earned by the employee, or
  • Pay stubs showing gross income for each pay period and all deductions taken for four consecutive weeks;

The income of workers employed on an irregular basis will be estimated based on the verification of the best information available, with due consideration to earning ability and work history.

2.  Income from governmental agencies

A statement from the appropriate agency (Social Security, Department of Transitional Assistance, Employment Security, etc), stating the amount of annual or monthly income provided, including the gross amount and any deductions taken.

3. Income from Retirement Accounts

A statement from the source stating the amount of annual or monthly income provided, including the gross amount and any deductions taken

4. Income from the operation of a business or profession

  1. Most recent audited financial statement of income and loss;
  2. Most recent tax return showing income and loss from the operation of a business or profession.

5. Zero Income

When an adult Applicant household member reports zero income, the BHA will require the Applicant household to complete a budget or statement of financial responsibility.  An investigation shall include the information on the Applicant Background Check and Eviction Reports that are ordered on the Applicant household members.  If the applicant household member owns a motor vehicle, a telephone, or has other evidence of some form of expenditures reflecting income, the applicant household member will be asked to explain the source of funds supporting such cash expenditures

In addition, the Applicant household member will be required to sign releases allowing the BHA to obtain verification of no-income from sources such as Dept. of Transitional Assistance, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Revenue, Social Security Administration, Employment Security and Veterans Affairs.

6. Child Support, alimony, regular gifts and gambling proceeds

  1. A statement from the individual, business or agency providing the income and the frequency and amount of income provided; and/or
  2. Signed release form allowing the BHA to obtain information from the State Division of Child Support.

7. Income from Assets

Income from assets shall be based on either the actual income received or imputed income based upon current passbook savings rates in accordance with federal and state regulations as applicable.  For instance, actual interest received shall be used for interest bearing bank accounts, money market funds, rented property, etc.  Imputed income will be used for real property which is not rented, jewelry, coin collections, works of art and other non-income bearing assets.  If the value of the asset is more than $5,000 the higher of imputed income or actual income received will be used.

Common household items such as furniture, clothing, and vehicles used for day-to-day transportation shall not be considered assets for the purposes of calculating income.
Types of verification which will be accepted for purposes of determining the value and income received from an asset include:

  1. Three most recent statements for statement accounts, including bank accounts, money market funds, mutual funds, or other assets for which regular statements are issued;
  2. Original passbook for passbook savings accounts;
  3. Most recent (no older than one year) appraised value of real property owned provided it’s reflective of fair market value, in the form of property tax bill or appraisal from a Real Estate Appraiser; and
  4. Appraised valuations of any non-essential personal assets such as jewelry, coin collections, antiques or classic cars.

8. Verification of childcare expenses or care of disabled household member deductions

Statement from the provider of childcare or care of Disabled Person who is a household member of the amount of payment made on a periodic basis by the Applicant household.
 
9. Verification of Medical Deductions

Applicants must submit evidence of the following medical expenses for all household members paid within the last twelve months:

  1. Statement of the cost of medical insurance and the frequency of cost from the provider or in the form of deductions indicated on pay stubs or Social Security statements accompanied by proof of payment;
  2. Receipts for payment of prescriptions and other health care needs.  Non-prescription health care needs must be documented by both receipts and a statement from a Qualified Health Care Provider of the need for such items (including non-prescription medications, wheelchairs or other disability related aids, etc);
  3. Signed printout of prescription costs from a pharmacy accompanied by proof of payment
  4. Medical or dental bills for a household member paid by a household member.
  5. Un-reimbursed reasonable attendant care and auxiliary apparatus expenses.

J) Verification of Income Exclusions

Various sources of income are excluded by the BHA in accordance with Federal and State regulations. A list of currently allowable income exclusions will be given to the Applicant at the beginning of the Final Screening Process in preparation of the determination of rent.  In each case where the Applicant claims that income should be excluded a determination must be made as to whether or not the information provided needs to be verified.  For instance, if an Applicant acknowledges receipt of a one-time gift of cash, that income does not need to be verified prior to its exclusion.  On the other hand, if the Applicant claims to have a welfare-to-work income exclusion, that exclusion must be verified with the appropriate agencies.  
 
K) Verification of need for particular apartment features

At the time of Preliminary Application, or during the Screening Process, all Applicants will be asked to complete an Apartment Requirements Questionnaire.  This questionnaire will identify any special features that the applicant may require, and whether or not they consider themselves to be, or are, a Disabled Person.  Such features will include first floor apartments, inability to live in a townhouse unit, need for accessible features such as wheelchair accessibility, and other factors.

Any special apartment requirements identified by the Applicant as needed for his/her Household shall be verified using the process included in this Policy for Good Cause and/or Reasonable Accommodation verifications, Disability status and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

L) Verification of Applicants Ability to Live in Accordance with the Lease

During the screening process, an Applicant shall be required to verify that all household members are capable of living in compliance with the BHA lease.  A number of verification sources will be used to determine this as listed below. Applicants must provide to the BHA required information, including at least the last three years of housing history.  These questions are asked on the Final Application Form and must be as fully and completely answered.  Refusal to answer questions or inability to respond to requests for information may lead to a determination of ineligibility or withdrawal of an Application for Applicant’s failure to respond.

The BHA will not offer housing to an Applicant who can provide no documentation of ability of all household members to comply with the essential obligations of the Lease.

M) Applicant Rent Payment History

The following sources may be used to verify whether or not the applicant is likely to pay rent in a timely manner:

  1. Landlord references (preferred method);
  2. Bank references in the case of home-owners paying mortgages;
  3. Tax and utility payment records in the case of a homeowner not paying a mortgage;
  4. Credit Bureau Reports;
  5. Other records of payment histories in the case of an Applicant who has neither rented before as tenant of record or owned a home, including records of payment on credit cards or other independently verifiable regular or periodic payments.

N)  Applicant History of Care of Property

  1. Landlord references (preferred method);
  2. Statement from a Qualified Health Care Provider, other social services worker or other independent individual who has been in the home of the Applicant and has knowledge of the Applicant’s care of property within his/her care;
  3. Neighbor references in the case of an Applicant who is or was not a tenant of record and  for whom a landlord reference can not be obtained;
  4. Statement from a shelter worker, a worker in residential care settings, or a worker from other alternative housing institutions who has knowledge of the Applicant’s care of property within his/her care.

O) Applicant History of Not Disturbing neighbors or otherwise violating lease conditions, including violating the civil rights of other residents, their guests, neighbors, and employees

  1. Landlord references;
  2. Neighbor References in the case of an Applicant who is  or was not a tenant of record and a landlord reference cannot be obtained;
  3. Statement from shelter workers, workers in Residential Care settings, or workers from other alternative housing institutions who can testify to the Applicant’s record of living in such a way as not to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of neighbors;
  4. Other references from independent individuals or agencies, which can testify to the Applicant’s record of living in such a way as not to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of neighbors.

P) Criminal History

Each adult Applicant or adult household member 17 years of age or older is required to sign a release to allow the BHA to obtain criminal offender record information (CORI). Each Applicant household member 14-16 years of age shall be required to sign a release to allow the BHA to obtain youthful offender record information from the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board, or other youthful offender record information as it may lawfully receive from other jurisdictions. Discussion of the review and determination based upon the information that is received is included in Section 5.3.5 (Applicant Screening Criteria).

Q) Verification of Mitigating Circumstances

In the event that negative information about any household member is found in the process of reviewing the above verifications during the screening process, the Applicant may request that Mitigating Circumstances including the history of incidents of sexual assault, domestic or dating violence or stalking be considered in making a determination whether the Applicant is Qualified for housing.  For example, the Applicant is a victim of domestic or dating violence or stalking and has had certain unusual expenses that prevented the Applicant from paying rent in a timely fashion.   Mitigating Circumstances claimed by an Applicant must be verified and be related to the negative impact of an unsuitable housing history or unsuitable behavior and which may overcome or outweigh negative information gathered in the screening process about an Applicant .In addition to the Mitigating Circumstances verification, the Applicant may submit when applicable the HUD Domestic Violence self-certification form which must identify the alleged abuser and the his/her relationship to the Applicant.

5.3.3  The Screening Policy

Information to be considered in completing Applicant screening shall be reasonably related to assessing the conduct of the Applicant and other household members listed on the application, in present and/or prior housing.  The BHA shall reject an Applicant if it finds any of the following conditions are present and there is reason to believe the future behavior of the Applicant or Applicant household members will exhibit the same behavior, unless there are acceptable Mitigating Circumstances as provided in Section 5.3.6 paragraph 2 below.  The history of the Applicant household’s conduct must demonstrate that the Applicant household can reasonably be expected not to:

  1. Interfere with other residents in such a manner as to diminish their peaceful enjoyment of the premises or to adversely affect their health, safety, or welfare or the security of their property;
  2. Violate the civil rights of any person, while on BHA property, in accordance with the BHA’s Zero Tolerance policy. 
  3. Cause damage to the property or fail to pay rent in full and on time;
  4. Violate the terms and conditions of the BHA lease;
  5. Require services from BHA staff that would alter the fundamental nature of the BHA's program.
  6. Illegally use, possess or distribute a controlled substance; or
  7. Give the BHA reasonable cause to believe that the illegal use (or pattern of illegal use) of a controlled substance, or abuse (or pattern of abuse) of alcohol may interfere with the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

The Applicant household's ability and willingness to comply with the above requirements in current and former housing will be checked and documented.  BHA may review the Credit Bureau Report of the household member(s) who will be responsible for paying rent in order to determine Applicant's credit history in meeting rent and housing-related utility charges, if any, and to verify Applicant's prior housing history.  The Applicant's prior credit history in meeting non-housing-related financial obligations will not be a basis for determining an Applicant ineligible except in cases where the Applicant has no prior rent payment or housing history.

Relevant information respecting habits or practices may also be considered including, but not limited to:

  1. An Applicant household's past and present performance in meeting financial obligations, especially in rent; provided that if the Applicant paid at least fifty percent of his/her household's monthly income for rent each month during a tenancy but was unable to pay the full rent, an eviction for non-payment of the balance of the rent shall not disqualify such individual from BHA housing.
  2. The most recent three-year housing history, and whether there is a record of disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, or housekeeping habits at present or prior residences which, if repeated, may adversely affect the health, safety, or welfare of other residents or neighbors or BHA employees or the security of their property during such time.
  3. Involvement in criminal activity on the part of any Applicant household member in a crime of physical violence to persons or property or other criminal activity, which if repeated , would threaten the health, welfare and safety or the right to quiet enjoyment, of other BHA tenants, or other criminal activity involving the illegal use of a controlled substance, or if the BHA determines that it has reasonable cause to believe that the illegal use (or pattern of illegal use) of a controlled substance, or abuse (or pattern of abuse) of alcohol may interfere with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.  (The BHA will utilize the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board’s Criminal Offender Records Information or “CORI” data as a reference.)
  4. A record of eviction from housing or termination from residential programs.
  5. An Applicant household's ability and willingness to comply with the terms of the BHA lease.  Applicant households must be able to demonstrate the ability and willingness to comply with the terms of the BHA's lease.
  6. Information related to an Applicant's knowing misrepresentation of any information related to Priority and/or Preference eligibility, household composition, Household income and/or assets, rent or use of the apartment.  Failure to provide consent for verification of information can be considered grounds for ineligibility.
  7. Information related to an Applicant’s or a member of an Applicant’s household treatment by a substance abuse treatment facility. The BHA requires any Applicant or member of Applicant’s household to sign a consent form authorizing inquiry to a substance abuse treatment facility where the BHA :
  • Receives CORI information that indicates evidence of a prior arrest or conviction for criminal activity which would be a basis for denial due to reasonably current illegal drug use, OR
  • Receives information from records from a prior tenancy of the Applicant or household member that demonstrate he or she was:
  • Engaged in the destruction of property;
  • Engaged in violent activity against another person;
  • Interfered with the right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by another tenant.
  1. Home Visits. Home visits at the current dwelling of the Applicant household shall be required of Applicants in the circumstances listed below. Housekeeping inspections are part of the home visit.
  • Criteria for home visits: BHA will make a Home Visit when the following conditions exist:
    • One bad housekeeping reference from the present or a prior landlord or housing provider, including residential programs and shelters; or
    • Information contained in a reference or verification form that demonstrates a marked difference among   references of the Applicant as to housekeeping; or
    • The Applicant is unable to provide documentation from an independent source to support a positive assessment of housekeeping; or
    • Evidence of poor personal hygiene habits, as observed by BHA staff during a personal interview or other visit to BHA offices and/or during a home visit, such as would affect the livability of a BHA apartment occupied by the Applicant Household, a neighbor's apartment, or other premises or such as not to be conducive to decent, safe, and sanitary conditions as required by BHA’s lease.
  • Housekeeping observations shall include, but are not limited to:
    • Conditions in the living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and other spaces in the unit.
    • Conditions of entrance-ways, stairways, halls, and yard if under the control of the Applicant
    • Cleanliness in each room, for example, dirt, grease, grime or infestation
    • Clutter that might create a health or safety problem
    • General care of furniture, appliances, fixtures, windows, doors and cabinets
  • Other conditions which would constitute a violation of BHA lease terms, such as:
    • Evidence of destruction of property;
    • Evidence of criminal activity, for example, presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia; dangerous weapons; or
    • Conditions inconsistent with application information, i.e., evidence of unauthorized occupants.
  • All Applicants shall have at least two calendar days' advance written notice of Home Visits.
  • The purpose of the Home Visit is to obtain information to be used in determining the Applicant's compliance with the screening criteria described in this chapter.

5.3.4  The Final Application Package and Screening Requirements

1.         The Final Application

Various questions relating to the Applicant household’s eligibility, Priority status and/or Preferences and tenant history will be asked as part of the Final Application. Included will be the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of all household members (or certification that an Application for a SSN is submitted or that no SSN has been assigned)- the federal regulations require that the social security numbers of all Applicant household members must be provided and verified except for those individuals who do not contend to have eligible immigration status-  and the name, address and telephone numbers of current and former landlords or current and former housing providers.  Failure to answer the questions and provide the requested information will result in withdrawal of the Application.  BHA staff will be available to guide Applicants, as needed, in understanding the Application process and completing BHA forms.  For Federal Programs, verification of U.S. Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen status for each household member will also be required at this time.

All sections of the Final Application must be completed by the Applicant and must be signed by the Household Head and Co-Head, where appropriate.

2.         Applicant Releases of Information and other required documents 

All adult household members will be required to execute the following releases of information or sign information forms as appropriate:

  • The single standard Release of Information form that is to be signed by the Applicant and each adult household member;
  • Non Citizen Rule (Federal Housing only) – Verification of Consent for all household members.
  • One copy of the CORI Release of Information form advising the household member that CORI will be used; and
  • The Privacy Act Notice.

Refusal to sign these forms or other documents required to process the Application or conduct screening will result in the withdrawal of the Application. 

The BHA has discretion to determine what constitutes adequate and credible documentation.  If staff has doubts about the veracity or reliability of information received, they may examine alternative methods of verification with the Applicant or third parties until they are satisfied that the documentation is reliable or that reliable documentation is unattainable.  The BHA will not offer housing to an Applicant household who has failed to provide requested documentation or to identify sources who can provide documentation which demonstrates the ability of the household to comply with the essential obligations of the Lease or meet other eligibility requirements.

5.3.5  Applicant Screening Criteria

Applicants including all household members for public housing will be screened.  The screening criteria in this Admission and Occupancy Policy, are based on those set forth in the HUD and DHCD Regulations (24 CFR Part 960.205 and 760 CMR 5.00 respectively), and require an assessment of the conduct of each Applicant household member age fourteen (14) or older with respect to all the factors listed below:

1.  An Applicant household’s performance in meeting financial obligations, especially rent, as required by terms of the BHA Lease

A.        Primary indicators for meeting financial obligations, especially rent are:

No more than one (1) rent delinquency in any 12 month tenancy period under review except in cases of acceptable Mitigating Circumstances including incidents of documented domestic or dating violence or stalking which prevented the applicant from meeting his/her financial obligations; payment of rent in full and on time for the period under review, payment of gas, electric, and heating fuel bills in full and on time (no shut-offs or termination of service).   Prompt payment of repairs for damage caused by the Applicant, household members and/or guests.  Compliance with repayment plans (if any) will also be considered.

B.        Secondary indicators for meeting financial obligations, especially rent.  One or more of the following secondary indicators may demonstrate acceptable history under this criterion:

  1. Applicants may present evidence of a recovery from a delinquency, such as sweat equity to pay off a debt and meeting the requirements of payment contracts for rent in arrears.  All such evidence must be adequately verified;

  2. Self-employment work histories that show positive performance and habits with respect to the monthly payment of bills or creditors (as verified by vendors or creditors);

  3. Record of payment of consumer loans, credit cards, or lay-a-way accounts (monthly payment in full and on time).  Evidence of recovery from a delinquency shall be deemed a Mitigating Circumstance;

  4. Record of monthly payment for utilities in full and on time (other than gas or electric) such as water and sewer, telephone.  Evidence of recovery from a utility payment delinquency shall be deemed a Mitigating Circumstance;

  5. Record of cable TV payments (monthly payment in full and on time).  Evidence of recovery from a delinquency shall be deemed a Mitigating Circumstance;

  6. Record of making any kind of regular payments (i.e., monthly payment of a storage bill for household possessions);

  7. No liens, defaults or other types of poor payment history;

  8. Record of regular on time payments for alimony and/or child support;

  9. Ability to secure a vendor payment agreement with payments made directly to the BHA for a period of not less than 24 months or shorter period if agreed to by BHA;

C.        Acceptable documentation in support of an Applicant’s history of meeting financial obligations includes the following:

  1. Credit Bureau Applicant Background Check and Eviction Report information reflecting no negative indicators relative to the ability to pay rent or similar shelter costs.  The information on the Credit Bureau report must be consistent with other documentation or statements made by the Applicant;

  2. Completed Landlord Verification Form for all prior landlords for the past three years reflects no more than one (1) delinquency in any 12-month tenancy period in payment of rent;

  3. Account records (computer printouts) provided by utility companies for any period of tenancy under review reflecting no delinquencies in payment for utilities;

  4. Where a landlord verification is not available, a completed Third Party Verification form: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms from a knowledgeable third party source reflecting an ability to meet Lease terms, including the obligation to pay rent;

  5. No record of an eviction for non-payment, or failure to pay for damages or other charges due  a landlord (If the Applicant has a record of eviction for nonpayment, the applicant must document that s/he was paying at least fifty percent of the total household income towards rent)

  6. Other documentation accepted as reliable and credible by the BHA, which is sufficient to support a determination that the Applicant will pay rent and other charges as permitted by the BHA lease on time.

D.        Method of Verifying an Applicant’s history of meeting financial obligations:

1.  If the  Applicant household has or  has no landlord references (e.g. because of living with friends or family or in an institution or shelter) the BHA shall order a Credit Bureau Report Applicant Background Check and Eviction Report on all adult members of the applicant household.  BHA will conduct a careful examination of the information contained in the Credit Bureau Report.  The report will be checked to determine if there are inconsistencies in the Applicant’s housing history as reported to BHA on the Final Application form or other documents or a history of evictions filed against the Applicant.  BHA staff will consider negative credit information with respect to the Applicant’s rent and utility payment history.  In cases where the Applicant has no prior housing payment history, the BHA will utilize the payment history for other consumer credit obligations.

If BHA rejects an applicant in whole or in part because of a poor credit history reflected in a Credit Bureau Report, BHA will advise the Applicant in writing of:

  • his/her right to examine the Credit Bureau Report; and

  • his/her right under applicable law to dispute and correct inaccurate credit information.

Should the Applicant obtain correction of the report, BHA will reconsider the Application and if the applicant is not determined ineligible again, s/he will be reinstated to each previously selected waiting list using the original date and time of application and any applicable priority and/or preferences.

BHA will consider a poor credit history in light of any Mitigating Circumstances that can be documented by the applicant (for example loss of employment, illness, medical problems, or incidents of domestic or dating violence or stalking that limited the household’s financial resources).  BHA will also consider whether non-payment or poor payment of rent and other charges is likely to reoccur once the Applicant obtains housing where the rent is based on a percentage of the household income.

2.  If an applicant has filed bankruptcy and this is reflected in the Credit Bureau Report, BHA will determine if the bankruptcy included debts that were related to tenancy and shelter costs and which would be a basis for rejecting the applicant if they had not been discharged.  Applicants will not be rejected solely on the basis of the bankruptcy filing.

3.  Performance in meeting financial obligations will be checked by contacting current and prior landlords, (and utility suppliers if applicable).  The BHA Landlord Verification Form will be used to gather information about present and past performance in meeting rental obligations.  The form will be mailed to the landlords identified by the Applicant or otherwise, along with a release of information form signed by the Applicant.

Where any adult member of the Applicant household has had past responsibility for utility payments, the BHA may consider account records provided by utility companies (excluding those providing telephone and cable TV service).

In lieu of the form referenced above, BHA will accept credible evidence of rent payment or utility payments in the form of canceled rent checks, or money orders for any period of tenancy under review.  Situations may arise where an adult member of an Applicant household has not paid rent but has responsibility for utility payments.  Their payment of utilities can be an indicator of ability to pay a shelter-related cost.

4.  Information from landlords of any adult Applicant household member may be discounted if it appears that the landlord may have misrepresented information about the Applicant Household. Contacts with all prior landlords for the past three-(3) years will be pursued by BHA staff.

5.  BHA will examine tenancy history over a longer period of time when the information obtained from the three-(3) year period is incomplete or conflicting.  When examining an Applicant’s housing history BHA will focus on any periods when any adult Applicant household member made or should have sustained periodic payments in support of housing-related costs.

6.. If a current or previous landlord is a relative of the Applicant household, the BHA will give more weight to references provided by unrelated landlords.

7. If verifications of timely rental payments (and utility payments, where applicable) are received from landlords and utility suppliers, no further documentation of past performance of meeting financial obligations, especially rent, need be collected.

8.  Payment of funds owed to the BHA or other subsidized housing provider will be considered as some evidence that an Applicant Household is willing to meet financial obligations.
 
9.  The BHA differentiates between Applicants who are/were tenants named in a Lease or tenants at will whose landlord BHA cannot reach and Applicants who have lived in a dwelling without the landlord’s knowledge, thus making it impossible for the landlord to verify the Applicant’s residency or ability to meet financial obligations although the landlord may verify residency information, including rent-paying ability, of the tenant occupying the dwelling.

The BHA will attempt to verify that the landlord of a prior dwelling knows the Applicant.  The BHA may accept other credible verification that can establish the address and occupancy status for the period under review.  Failure to establish the Applicant’s claimed residency in a dwelling will constitute cause for the BHA to withdraw the Applicant’s Application.

10.  In the absence of credible landlord references with respect to past performance of meeting Lease or tenancy obligations, the BHA may contact someone with knowledge of the Applicant household’s or members’ behavior and abilities to complete the BHA form, Third Party Verification: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms.

11. If the current housing provider is a relative, additional information on the Applicant’s ability to comply with the Lease terms may be collected by the BHA.
If BHA personnel have questions about information received, they may contact the source of the information in order to ask such questions.

2.  A record of disturbance of neighbors, destruction of property, or housekeeping habits at present or prior residences which may adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of other residents or staff, or cause damage to the Apartment or development/AMP on the part of any household member, as prohibited by terms of the BHA Lease

A.        Primary indicators that the Applicant household will not cause disturbances, destruction of property, damage or will not have unacceptable housekeeping habits are:

  1. No record of activity or behavior that would disturb other residents’ or neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of their accommodations; no record of activity or behavior that resulted in damage to an Apartment or residential facility of any kind including grounds or common areas associated with such Apartment or facility; no record of activity or behavior that results in damage to the real or personal property of neighbors;

  2. No record of activity or behavior (including housekeeping) that resulted in safety violations, unsanitary or unhealthy conditions in an Apartment or dwelling or the common areas associated with such Apartment or dwelling;

  3. Evidence that the Applicant reported maintenance problems to the landlord in a timely manner is a positive indicator.

  4. The Authority will consider Mitigating Circumstances such as incidents due to a disability, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking which are related to a history of unsanitary, unhealthy, and/or poor maintenance conditions, or destruction of property in the unit.

B.        Secondary indicators that the Applicant household will not cause disturbances, destruction of property, damage, or will not have unacceptable housekeeping habits are:

One or more of the secondary indicators may demonstrate acceptable history under the following criteria:

  1. Proper care of one’s room or space (especially for a person living with someone else or in a shelter or group home);

  2. Proper maintenance of other physical space ( (for example a work space)

  3.  Use of chore service or other assistance in caring properly for an Apartment or living area;

  4. The presence of a Personal Care Attendant who will assist in the proper care of the dwelling. 

In attempting to determine if the Applicant household will respect the rights of others, the BHA may also consider:

  1. treatment of others with whom the Applicant household lives;

  2. treatment of BHA staff with whom the Applicant household comes in contact;

  3. treatment of administrators, staff or other participants in programs in which the Applicant household  is or has been a participant;

  4. recent school and employment relationships.

C.        Acceptable documentation that an Applicant and/or household member will not cause disturbances, destruction of property, damages or will not have unacceptable housekeeping habits includes:

  1. Credit Bureau Applicant Background Check and Eviction Report reflecting the absence of eviction proceeding for such activity or behavior.

  2. Completed Landlord Verification Form for all previous tenancies reflecting the absence of such activity or behavior and reflecting the ability to care for a dwelling and to comply with essential Lease terms;

  3. If no landlord verification is possible, a completed Third-Party Verification:  Ability to Comply with Lease Terms reflecting the absence of such activity or behavior and reflecting the ability to care for the dwelling and to comply with essential Lease terms;

  4. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reflecting no criminal offenses arising from physical or other abuse of persons or property, disturbances, destruction or damage to property or similar types of activities. Examples of criminal offenses that will be considered under this screening criterion include but are not limited to:  threats or harassment, especially civil rights violations, domestic violence, including sexual assault, actual or threatened violence toward members of an applicant’s household or other individuals who are not household members, assaults, assaults and batteries, destruction of property, vandalism, situations where children, the elderly or disabled are neglected or abused, criminal conduct which may not in and of itself be considered violent but may lead to violence, reported or other evidence that may constitute a health or sanitation problem;

  5. Where disqualifying behavior has occurred, evidence of Mitigating Circumstances shall include evidence that the Applicant household has ceased the behavior or activity and that the behavior and activity is unlikely to re-occur or the individual engaged in such behavior will not be part of the household composition.  The evidence must be provided by a Qualified Health Care Provider or other individual qualified to provide such evidence;

  6. Where disqualifying damage to property has occurred, evidence of Mitigating Circumstances would require a showing that the applicant and/or household members ceased the behavior or activity resulting in the damage and that the behavior and activity is unlikely to re-occur or the individual engaged in such behavior will not be part of the household composition.  An Applicant household member should show that s/he has paid for the damage or, if s/he didn’t make such payment, establish a valid reason why payment for the damage was not made.

D.        How a Record of disturbance, destruction of property, damages, unsatisfactory or unacceptable housekeeping habits will be determined:

  1. Staff will check for current or past problems in the above areas with the current and former landlord(s) using the BHA Landlord Verification Form.

BHA staff shall utilize information from a Credit Bureau Report on the Applicant household.

  1. In addition to checking with landlords, the BHA will make a Home Visit when the following conditions exist:

  2. BHA staff will routinely check the BHA’s former Resident files to determine whether the Applicant and/or any household member have been residents of the BHA and have vacated in bad standing from the BHA either by threat of eviction, eviction, termination from its rental assistance programs or vacating without notice to the BHA.  They also can order a check of court records to determine whether the Applicant or household members have been evicted from other housing.

    1. One unsatisfactory housekeeping reference from a present or prior landlord or housing provider, who may include a provider at a residential program or a shelter has been received;

    2. Reference or verification forms show a marked difference or discrepancies in the housekeeping assessment of the Applicant;

    3. The lack of adequate documentation from an  independent source to support a positive assessment of housekeeping habits as required by this screening criteria;

    4. Evidence of poor personal hygiene habits, observed by the Occupancy Specialist at the interview or by other BHA staff, which may be an indication that such habits could disturb the peaceful enjoyment or health of other BHA Residents or affect the habitability of an Apartment.

The home visit will be documented on the BHA Home Visit Form. Where the Applicant is living in a shelter, or other transient housing facilities, BHA staff may visit the site and may confirm compliance with facility rules using the Third Party Verification: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms.

Applicants who fail a home visit will be determined Ineligible.

  1. An Applicant’s behavior toward BHA staff may be considered as a reflection of future behavior toward neighbors and/or BHA staff.  Physical abuse or threats by an Applicant toward BHA staff will be noted in the file and included in the Screening evaluation.  BHA staff will also note health or hygiene habits when such habits, in the opinion of the BHA staff, are serious enough to interfere with the ability of staff to conduct the interview and/or to disturb future neighbors.  Where personal hygiene is a question, a final determination will be made based on available information which may include a home visit and which will be made after consultation with the Assistant Director of Occupancy for Screening.

  2. If the applicant is not currently living under a lease with a landlord, or is living as a tenant at will, the housing provider will be asked to verify the Applicant’s ability to comply with BHA Lease terms related to this screening criterion.  Any area for which the Applicant has responsibility may be inspected.

3.  A record of involvement in criminal activity on the part of any applicant household member in crimes of physical violence to persons or property, crimes of fraud, prostitution or larceny and other criminal acts including the use and/or distribution of an illegal drug, or the illegal use (or pattern of illegal use) and distribution of any illegal drug, or abuse (or pattern of abuse) of alcohol which may interfere with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other Residents, as prohibited by the BHA Lease

A.        Persons convicted of sexual offenses and subject to a lifetime sexual offender registration requirement are permanently prohibited from admission to Federally assisted developments/AMPs and they are only eligible for admission to State aided developments upon establishing acceptable Mitigating Circumstances.  The BHA will conduct criminal history background checks sufficient to determine whether any household member is subject to such a registration requirement.

B.        Persons that have been convicted of drug-related criminal activity for the manufacture or production of methamphetamine on the premises of Federally-assisted housing are permanently prohibited from admission to Federally assisted developmentsAMPs and are only eligible for admission to State aided developments upon establishing acceptable Mitigating Circumstances. 

C.       Examples of primary indicators that an Applicant and/or household member has not engaged in criminal activity:  The absence of CORI or other evidence of criminal activity or behavior, excluding minor offenses

D.        Criminal activity/drug related criminal activity, other factors and considerations:

1.  Rehabilitation and Mitigating Circumstances – With respect to potentially disqualifying criminal behavior, evidence of Mitigating Circumstances or rehabilitation must be substantial and commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.

BHA will consider the particular circumstances of the offense, the seriousness of the offense, the degree of damage, disruption and inconvenience caused by the offense, the passage of time since the offense, and whether the offender has been a good citizen and remained free of trouble since the offense.

BHA may consider evidence of the Applicant’s or household member’s behavior and reputation in the community both before and after the offense, and any other evidence indicating a likelihood that the offender will not engage in any future criminal activity.

Example of rehabilitation: If an applicant or household member has an isolated incident of criminal activity which is neither violent nor drug related in the past, then clear and verifiable evidence of good citizenship sustained over a significant period of time may establish that the applicant or household member has been rehabilitated.

Example of Mitigating Circumstances: If an applicant or household member has an isolated conviction for larceny but establishes that he or she had an emergency need for money to pay for prescription drugs due to the illness of a household member, or if such behavior was a result of domestic or dating violence or stalking, such justification, if documented, may constitute Mitigating Circumstances sufficient to outweigh the offense.

2.  In general, BHA will consider criminal activity to be outweighed solely by the passage of time when the criminal record has been or may be sealed pursuant to G.L. c. 276, §100A.A record may be sealed in most circumstances if the applicant or household member's last court appearance and court disposition records, including any period of incarceration or custody, occurred not less than 5 years before the application was filed in the case of a misdemeanor and not less than ten years before the application was filed in the case of a felony.

3.  BHA will not admit a current user of illegal drugs.  The Fair Housing Act explicitly states that current users of illegal drugs are not a protected class.  BHA will not exclude former users of illegal drugs solely because of their former illegal drug use. Evidence of use within the past year (12 months) creates a rebuttable presumption that the individual is a current user.

4.  The fact that an Applicant or household member may have been an illegal drug user in the past does not automatically excuse any disqualifying behavior that the Applicant or household member may have engaged in while an illegal drug user.  If the BHA has cause to believe a former illegal drug user is still using illegal drugs, BHA has cause to reject the Applicant because of his/her current illegal drug use.

5.  Documentation that a former illegal drug user is not currently using illegal drugs could include:

  1. The BHA will pay for all costs associated with drug testing unless the costs are otherwise reimbursed.

  2. The test must screen for illegal drugs only and the Applicant’s use of prescription drugs that contain controlled substances must be taken into account; and

  3. The drug test must be conducted at facilities that use the National Institute of Drug Abuse Guidelines (implementing EO 12564 and Pub. L. 100-71; these guidelines were published April 11, 1988 in the Federal Register);

  4. Voluntary drug testing.  An Applicant or household member cannot be required to undergo drug testing as a condition of eligibility.  However, if s/he chooses to be tested, testing shall meet the following requirements:

  • Verification from a probation or parole officer stating that the former illegal drug user has met or is meeting the terms of probation or parole and that periodic screens have not revealed the presence of illegal drugs;

  • Verification from a self-help program (for example, Narcotics Anonymous) stating that the former illegal drug user has been or is participating in their program, that there is a reasonable probability that the Applicant will be successful in refraining from use of illegal drugs, and is not currently using an illegal drug;

  • Verification from a Qualified Health Care Provider stating that the former illegal drug user has been or is currently in treatment, that there is a reasonable probability that the Applicant will be successful in refraining from use of illegal drugs, that the Applicant is complying with the requirements of the treatment program, and is not currently using an illegal drug;

6.  If an Applicant or household member is currently in treatment for illegal drug use (as opposed to successfully completed treatment) or if an Applicant or household member has a history of drug treatment followed by further illegal drug use, the Applicant or household member must convincingly demonstrate (by providing additional verifiable information) in what way the current situation and claim of non-drug use is different from the previously unsuccessful efforts to stop using drugs.  BHA must have an acceptable demonstration that the likelihood of a change in behavior is significantly greater than in the past.

In such cases, an Applicant or household member should successfully complete the current treatment program and maintain acceptable behavior in the community for a reasonable period established by the BHA.

7.  Where an Applicant or household member has committed one or more crimes and establishes a direct causal link between the crimes and former illegal drug use, BHA will consider the evidence of rehabilitation from the illegal drug use. Rehabilitation does not mean that the BHA will ignore the criminal behavior if other factors apart from illegal drug use may have had a causal effect on the criminal acts.  A demonstration that a former illegal drug user is not a current user does not necessarily excuse crimes committed while s/he was using illegal drugs.  S/he must reliably establish that drug use caused the crimes, that s/he is rehabilitated, and that there is a likelihood of no further criminal behavior.

Alcohol Abuse and Screening – Alcohol is a legal drug. Use of alcohol is not a basis for rejecting an Applicant.  An Applicant or household member who is an alcoholic may qualify as a person with a disability under State and Federal anti-discrimination laws and be entitled to certain protections afforded to Disabled Persons.

It is BHA’s policy that an Applicant or household member who is an alcoholic must meet the same screening criteria and standards as any other person.  If an Applicant’s (including household members) housing history demonstrates unacceptable behavior that is grounds for disqualification and there are inadequate Mitigating Circumstances, screening staff will have grounds to reject the Application, even if the behavior is claimed to be alcohol related.  BHA’s screening is directed at the Applicant’s (and household members) behavior, not their condition.

E.        How criminal activity including drug related criminal activity or activity under the “One-Strike” Policy on the part of the Applicant or a household member will be checked:

  1. Possible involvement in criminal activity by the Applicant and/or any member of an Applicant’s household that, if repeated by the Applicant or a household member as a Resident, would adversely affect the health, safety or welfare or physical security of property of other Residents, BHA staff or guests, will be checked by use of Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) provided by the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board, criminal histories provided by other states/jurisdictions, Federal authorities, court records, and other evidence of criminal activity.  In addition, the current or former landlord will be asked about criminal activity during the residence of any member of an Applicant household.

  2. The BHA will use CORI or youthful offender record information from the Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board, or other youthful offender record information as it may lawfully receive from other jurisdictions to check all adult household members and non-adult household members, 14 years of age or older, of the Applicant household for any evidence of:

  • criminal convictions, both felonies and misdemeanors,  regardless of when the conviction occurred;

  • any criminal charges which are currently pending before the courts of the Commonwealth or any jurisdiction, including the Federal courts.

  1. Criminal record information shall be used in accordance with procedures established by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) memorandum dated December 11, 1991 as it may be amended, and 803 CMR 5.00 or equivalent requirements of any other jurisdiction.

  2. If the Criminal record information shows that a case is continued without a finding (CWOF) or “placed on file” it cannot be used as a determination that the Applicant or household member, in fact, engaged in criminal activity without other independent evidence of the criminal activity charged.  Independent evidence might include: police reports documenting criminal activity, statements from the arresting officer or other reliable information that the Applicant and/or a household member committed the crime charged.

  3. .

    1. If the Criminal record information indicates that an Applicant and/or household member has a record that would establish a basis for an Ineligibility finding, the Applicant will be notified of the negative information received, provided with an opportunity to review the information and to offer any information as a Mitigating Circumstance before a final determination of Ineligibility is made by the BHA.

    2. If the applicant believes that the Criminal record information is inaccurate, he/she must submit to BHA a written notice to this effect.  The notice must be provided to BHA within the time specified in BHA’s notice to the Applicant.

    3. Upon receipt of the applicant’s written notice disputing the accuracy of Criminal record information, BHA will provide the Applicant a reasonable amount of time to provide credible evidence of the report’s inaccuracy.

  4. Applicants shall be advised at the time of both Preliminary and Final Application intake that past and future criminal behavior by the Applicant and or a household member will jeopardize admission to BHA’s public housing program.

  5. Depending on the circumstances, any of the following crimes committed by the Applicant or a household member may, alone or in conjunction with other crimes, result in the rejection of an Applicant household:

  • use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs;

  • a property-related crime such as burglary, larceny, fraud,   automobile theft, receipt of stolen goods, and attempts at such crimes;

  • a crime against another person such as murder, manslaughter, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, robbery, kidnapping, mayhem, rape, spouse or child abuse or any  similar type crimes, and attempts at such crimes;

  • a crime that endangers or threatens the health, welfare  or safety of others such as lewd conduct, indecent exposure, prostitution, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, assault, harassment, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, motor vehicle homicide, failure to stop for a police officer and attempts at such crimes.

  1. BHA will consider the likely impact of a recurrence of past criminal conduct in a BHA community.  BHA will consider the danger that such activity creates and its potential effect on the health, welfare or safety of Residents and staff and the security of their property.  In evaluating criminal activity, BHA will consider each offense, its seriousness, its age, its potential impact on other persons including the victim, any possible recidivism, any Mitigating Circumstances and/or Reasonable Accomodation including any criminal activity which was a direct result of incidents of domestic or dating violence or stalking, and any rehabilitation or efforts at rehabilitation which make a recurrence unlikely.

4.  A record of eviction from housing, involuntary termination from rental assistance programs or involuntary termination from residential programs

A.  Examples of primary indicators that an Applicant and/or household member has not been evicted from housing or involuntarily terminated from residential programs are:

  1. No record of eviction or termination from any apartment, dwelling, shelter, other housing, rental assistance program or a residential program;

  2. No negative information received from a present or former landlord or housing provider;

  3. The Applicant household member is currently in a residential program and is meeting all requirements of the program;

  4. No record of summary process proceedings having been commenced in a District Court or Housing Court which resulted in a judgment against the Applicant or household member or in which the Applicant or household member voluntarily agreed to vacate due to the fault of the tenant.

  5. The Authority will consider Mitigating Circumstances such as incidents due to a disability, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking which are related to a history of eviction or termination from any apartment or other housing program(s).

B.  Secondary indicators that an Applicant and/or household member(s) have not been evicted from housing, or involuntarily terminated from residential programs or from rental assistance programs are:

  1. The Applicant (or a household member) was asked to leave the program for a rule violation that is not related to BHA Lease compliance;

  2. The Applicant or household member leaves a program but returns and is accepted for continued participation;

  3. No references from current or past landlords or the Credit Bureau Applicant Background or Eviction Report indicating that the Applicant or a household member was ever served with a Notice to Quit or Notice of Termination when the reason for termination is due to the fault of the tenant;

C.  Acceptable documentation that an Applicant or household member has not been evicted from housing, terminated from a rental assistance program or involuntarily terminated from a residential program is:

  1. A completed Landlord Verification Form for the current tenancy and all prior tenancies and the Credit Bureau Applicant Background Check and Eviction Report reflecting no evictions due to the fault of any Applicant household member.

  2. If a landlord verification is not possible, a completed Third-Party Verification: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms showing no “fault” evictions or terminations.

D.  How a record of eviction from housing, termination from a rental assistance program or involuntary termination from a residential program will be checked:

  1. Staff will consider the date and circumstances of any past eviction or program termination in determining its relevance to a BHA tenancy.  Staff will consider if the eviction or program termination resulted from an Applicant’s (or household member’s) violation of rules and if a similar violation would violate the BHA Lease.  Thus, infractions of rules in a residential program that have relevance to the BHA’s Lease will be given greater weight than violations of rules that are specific to the residential program and have little or no relevancy to those requirements.

  2. Any household member who signed a previous Lease will be considered responsible for the actions occurring during the former tenancy.

  3. Conditions of former tenancy may not be attributable to an Applicant or household member where the Applicant or household member was not the responsible tenant in the former housing.  If the responsible tenant was not the Applicant or a household member, the Applicant will not be held accountable by the BHA for the rental delinquency or other problems of the former tenant unless it can be demonstrated that the Applicant or household member contributed to the cause of the involuntary termination.

  4. A record of involuntary termination from a residential program will be checked with police, service agencies and with the provider.   

  5. Staff will check BHA’s records, landlord records and court records to determine whether the Applicant and/or a household member has been evicted from the BHA, any Other Publicly Assisted Housing Programs, or any other property in the past.  BHA will also use Credit or Eviction Service information to check for a record of eviction.

5.  Ability and willingness to comply with the BHA Lease and other program requirements (This screening criteria will be applied ONLY in the absence of satisfactory landlord documentation.)

A. Examples of primary indicators of ability and willingness to comply with the lease terms are:

  1. The Applicant household can meet this criteria on its own or with assistance;

  2. Through a home visit (if required) the dwelling or living area is clean and no destruction of property is evident;

  3. The Applicant household has the ability to manage regular monthly payments of some kind; the Applicant household responds to mail and appears promptly for appointments;           

  4. The Applicant household observes applicable lease terms or rules in his/her current housing or shelter situation;

  5. There is no record of disturbing neighbors; and

  6. The Applicant and/or household members have avoided criminal activity.

B.  Secondary indicators of ability and willingness to comply with the lease terms are:

  1. Evidence of rule compliance in any residential program (shelters, transitional facilities, group homes) or other program in which the Applicant or household member is participating (for example drug or alcohol treatment);

  2. Job or school references showing compliance with applicable rules.

C.  Acceptable documentation that an Applicant and/or household members have not been evicted from housing or involuntarily terminated from a residential program is:

  1. Verification from the current and all previous tenancies and the Credit Bureau Applicant Background Check and Eviction Report reflecting no evictions.  If no traditional landlord verification is possible, BHA may require a completed Third-Party Verification: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms showing no “fault” evictions or terminations.   Any discrepancies in the information on these forms must be resolved to the BHA’s satisfaction.

  2. Other documentation accepted as reliable and credible by the BHA, which is sufficient to support the Applicant household’s claim of no  ”fault” evictions or program terminations.

  3. The Authority will consider Mitigating Circumstances such as incidents due to a disability, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking which are related to a history of eviction or termination from any apartment or other housing program(s).

D.  How ability and willingness to comply with the Lease terms will be checked:

  1. If each  member of an Applicant household is able to document that s/he is both willing and able to comply with BHA Lease terms at current and former residences through a combination of third party references, landlord references and a home visit (if required), this criterion will be considered to have been satisfied.

  2. Ability to comply with BHA Lease terms will be checked when the Applicant household is currently living in a setting that does not require compliance with Lease terms or is “doubled-up” with another household.  An Applicant household is considered “doubled-up” when living with another household and is not the tenant household of record.

  3. Staff will send the Third-Party Verification: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms form to the housing provider, i.e., landlord or other parties that may be able to provide information related to the tenancy.  When the Applicant household is doubled-up, the form will be sent to the provider as distinguished from the host household with whom the Applicant household is living.  Staff will also complete the Applicant checklist: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms in an interview with the Applicant.

If the housing provider (the provider may have no knowledge that the dwelling is housing two households) is unable or unwilling to complete the Third-Party Verification: Ability to Comply with Lease Terms, BHA will send the form to other third parties or persons who have or should have knowledge of the Applicant household’s current living arrangements and to the head of the host household. BHA will assess the credibility of the information in the completed form in light of any family ties between the host household and the Applicant household and any other pertinent circumstances.

5.3.6  Outcome of Screening Process

1.  Households determined to be Eligible and Qualified after screening will be notified by the BHA of the approximate date of occupancy insofar as that date can be reasonably determined. The BHA will make reasonable effort to estimate accurately an approximate date of occupancy.  However, the date given by the BHA is not a guarantee that Applicants will be housed by that date. The availability of a suitable apartment to offer a Household is contingent upon factors not directly controlled by the Authority, such as turnover rates, and availability of apartments of the appropriate size and/or with special features.

2.  Rehabilitation and Mitigating Circumstances

In the event of the receipt of unfavorable information with respect to an Applicant the BHA will notify the Applicant in writing, and the BHA shall permit the Applicant to show whether there are Mitigating Circumstances, which may include a showing of rehabilitation or rehabilitating efforts, sufficient so that when the potentially disqualifying conduct is weighed against the Mitigating Circumstances, the BHA is reasonably certain that the Applicant will not engage in any similar conduct in the future.  In making this determination, the BHA shall consider all relevant circumstances, including the severity of the potentially disqualifying conduct, the amount of time which has elapsed since the occurrence of such conduct, the degree of danger, if any, to the health, safety and security of others or to the security of the property of others or to the physical conditions of the housing development/AMP and its common areas if the conduct recurred, the disruption and inconvenience which recurrence would cause the BHA, and the likelihood that the Applicant's behavior in the future will be substantially improved. The greater the degree of danger, if any, to the health, safety and security of others or to the security of property of others or the physical condition of the housing, the greater must be the strength of the showing that a recurrence of behavior, which would have been disqualifying, will not occur in the future.

3.  Applicants determined unqualified for admission will be promptly notified.  These Applicants will receive a Notice of Ineligibility from the BHA, stating the basis for such determination and advising them of the opportunity for an informal review of the determination.  Rejected Applicants will also be informed that they have a right to request reconsideration if the reason for rejection is related to a disability and a reasonable accommodation on account of that disability may make it possible for them to be housed in accordance with the Screening Procedures.

5.4  Confidentiality of Applicants’ Files

The contents of Applicants’ files at the BHA are confidential and will not be misused or the information therein improperly disseminated.  BHA will not share the contents of an Applicant’s file with persons not authorized to view the file.

5.5  Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or Live-In Aide

5.5.1  Definition

1.  A Personal Care Attendant ("PCA”)/Live-In Aide is defined as a person who:

  1. does not have his/her income included in Elderly or Disabled persons household for the purposes of determining total household income and rent except as provided in 5.5.2.8.

  2. has no right to the apartment as a Residual Tenant except as provided in 5.5.2.8.

  3. in the case of a live-in PCA/Live-In Aide, would not be living in the apartment except to provide the necessary supportive care; AND

  4. is not obligated to support the Elderly or Disabled person or persons; AND

  5. may or may not  reside with the Elderly or Disabled person or persons; AND

  6. is determined by BHA based upon medical documentation from a Qualified Healthcare Provider to be essential to the care and well being of an Elderly or Disabled person or persons;  AND

5.5.2  Policy on Addition of a licensed PCA/Live-In Aide to the Household

General Provisions

  1. Any PCA/Live-In Aide must meet the definition of a PCA/Live-In Aide as stated above.

  2. A PCA/Live-In Aide can be a single person or a person with a household.

  3. No addition of a PCA/Live-In Aide and his/her household, if applicable, shall result in overcrowding of the apartment.

  4. No PCA/Live-In Aide and his/her household, if applicable, has/have the right to the apartment as a Residual Tenant except as provided in 5.5.2.8.

  5. Any PCA/Live-In Aide and his/her household, if applicable, must sign a waiver of residual residency status except as provided in 5.5.2.8.

  6. Any PCA/Live-In Aide and his/her household, if applicable, must meet the criteria in the BHA’s Screening Policy.

  7. Any PCA/Live-In Aide and his/her household, if applicable, will be counted as a member of the resident’s Household for the purposes of determining the appropriate apartment size ONLY

  8. A relative who satisfies the definition above will be notified in writing that s/he may be qualified as a PCA/Live-In Aide and can choose one of the following two options:

    1. S/he can qualify as a PCA/Live-In Aide, choose not to include his/her income as part of the Total Household Income and sign a waiver of residual residency status.  OR

    2. They can qualify as a PCA/Live-In Aide, have their income included as part of the total Household income and retain rights as a remaining member of the Household.

5.6  Citizenship, Eligible Non-Citizen Status and Restrictions on Assistance to Non-Citizens (Federal Program Only)

In federal developments/AMPs, BHA will restrict assistance to citizens and to Non-Citizens with Eligible Non-Citizen status, in accordance with HUD’s final rule, effective June 11, 1999.  Each household member’s status as a U.S. citizen, Eligible Non-Citizen or ineligible Non-Citizen must be verified unless there is an election not to contend. Determination of eligibility or partial eligibility for public housing benefits (Federal Program only) is affected by citizenship status.  One household member must be a citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen.

1.  Evidence of Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen Status

See Section 5.3.2.1 (h) “Verification of Household Composition” above for acceptable evidence of citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen Status.

2.  Verification of Citizenship Status

The BHA will verify the citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen status of at least one household member prior to a determination of eligibility.  BHA may verify citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen status of other household members (other than those who elect not to contend) prior to a determination of eligibility but no later than the date of a Household’s first or next annual re-examination after admission if the verification was not completed at the time of admission.

3.  Mixed Households

  • An eligible mixed Household is defined as a Household containing members who are citizens or with Eligible Non-Citizen status, as well as members without such status, and that meets the criteria for eligibility for continued assistance.

  • Continued financial assistance may be provided to an eligible mixed Household, but it will be prorated based upon the percentage of Household Members that are eligible for assistance.  If an Applicant Household elects to be placed on the waiting list for either Federal or State programs and to pay prorated rent in Federal Housing rather than waiting for assignment to a State-Aided Housing program, the Applicant will be obligated to accept an apartment offer in either program.  Refusal of the offer shall be considered a rejection unless there has been a change in circumstances. (See Good Cause or Reasonable Accommodation– Section 6.2.5)

4.  Financial Assistance

  • The BHA may provide financial assistance to an individual or Household prior to verifying the eligibility of the individual or one household member.

  • Assistance will be prorated based upon the number of individuals in the Household for whom eligibility has been affirmatively established.

5.  The BHA will deny assistance to an Applicant or terminate assistance to a resident in the following situations:

  1. The BHA determines that a Household Member has knowingly permitted another individual who is not eligible for assistance to reside on a permanent basis in the public or assisted housing apartment of the Household Member.  Such termination shall be for a period of not less than 24 months.  This provision does not apply to a Household if the ineligibility of the ineligible individual was considered in calculating any proration of assistance provided for the Household.

    1. The INS appeal and informal hearing rights are pursued, but the final appeal or hearing decisions are decided against the Household Member; or

    2. The Household does not pursue an INS appeal or informal hearing rights; or

  2. Evidence of Eligible Non-Citizen status is submitted in a timely fashion, but INS primary and secondary verification does not verify Eligible Non-Citizen status of a household member; and

  3. Evidence of citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen status is not submitted by the date set by the BHA or by the expiration of any extension granted by the BHA;

6.  The BHA will not delay, deny, reduce or terminate assistance to an Applicant or resident on the basis of ineligible Non-Citizen status of a household member if:

  1. The primary and secondary verification of any immigration documents that were submitted in a timely manner has not been completed;

  2. The household member for whom required evidence has not been submitted has moved from the assisted apartment;

  3. The household member who is determined not to be in an Eligible Non-Citizen status following INS verification has moved from the assisted apartment;

  4. The INS appeals process has not been concluded;

  5. For residents, following notification of the INS decision on appeal, or in lieu of a request of appeal to the INS, an informal BHA hearing has been requested by the Household and said hearing process has not been completed (under the regulations, the BHA may delay but not deny assistance to an Applicant during the pendency of the informal hearing process);

  6. Assistance is prorated in accordance with the applicable Federal requirement; or

  7. Assistance for a mixed Household is continued in accordance with applicable Federal requirements; or

  8. Deferral of termination of assistance is granted.

7.  Preservation of Assistance

7.1       For Resident Households:

  1. Prorated Assistance

  • Available for a mixed Household that qualifies other than a Household who requests and receives Temporary deferral of Termination Assistance.

  • Proration is calculated in accordance with Federal requirements.

  1. Temporary Deferral of Termination of Assistance
    A mixed Household that qualifies for prorated assistance but decides not to accept prorated assistance may be granted a Temporary Deferral of Termination of Assistance.

  • The BHA will notify a resident Household in writing at least 60 calendar days in advance of the expiration of a deferral period if termination will no longer be deferred.

  • An applicant for refugee or asylum status may receive a Temporary Deferral of Termination of Assistance pending a determination of status.

 


[1] Other Publicly Assisted Housing Program – means residence in any housing program assisted under M.G.L. Chapter 121B (such as state-assisted public housing for families, elderly or disabled persons), or Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program or assisted under the United States Housing Act of 1937 as amended (42 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) (such as federally-assisted public housing for families, elderly or disabled persons, Section 8 certificate/voucher, project-based certificate, moderate rehabilitation, loan management/property disposition leased housing program, Indian housing, or tenant-based assistance under the HOME program)

[2] Other Publicly Assisted Housing Program – means residence in any housing program assisted under M.G.L. Chapter 121B (such as state-assisted public housing for families, elderly or disabled persons), or Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program or assisted under the United States Housing Act of 1937 as amended (42 U.S.C. 1401 certificate/voucher, project-based certificate, moderate rehabilitation, loan management/property disposition leased housing program, Indian housing, or tenant-based assistance under the HOME program)


Revision date:  8/13/14
 

[3] Single persons include: a single woman who is pregnant at the time of admission, a single person who has secured, or is in the process of securing the custody of any individual(s) below the age of 18, an Elderly person, a Person with a Disability or Handicap, a Displaced Person, or a Single Person who is not elderly, disabled, handicapped or displaced, each as defined in Chapter 11 of this Policy.

[4] Personal Care Attendants do not have rights of tenancy, nor can they be considered the remaining member of a resident household.

[5] See 24 CFR 5.403.

[6] See Section 5.6.1.


Revision date:  8/13/14