Transfer Information Guide

Chapter 2:Types of Transfers

Management Requested – Administrative Transfers 

Managers will sometimes request transfers for residents for some of the reasons below, especially for over housing and maintenance reasons. Administrative transfers are restricted to moving residents for severe maintenance conditions that may not be repaired while the resident is in the unit, over housed by two (2) bedrooms or more in the federal or state funded housing programs, during a development renovation project.  Occasionally we will request that a resident in a specially-adapted wheelchair accessible unit who does not need the adaptations move to a standard apartment, if another resident or applicant needs the specially-adapted features of that wheelchair accessible apartment. 

Resident Requested Transfers – Reasons 

You may request a transfer for a variety of reasons.  The following are transfer categories: 

Civil Rights Reasons

A BHA Resident who is the alleged victim of physical harassment, extreme or repeated vandalism to personal property or extreme or repeated verbal harassment, threats, intimidation, or coercion, which is bias motivated and which cannot be remedied in other ways, may qualify for a transfer. Resident must immediately report such incidents to management. 

Safety & Security

If a resident is being threatened in some way, including domestic violence or as a result of retaliation because he or she was a witness to a crime, the resident may qualify for a transfer.  Resident must immediately report incidents to his/her manager and the police at 911. 

Note: Approved domestic violence transfers are considered as Administrative Transfers.


If a unit becomes unsafe or unhealthy due to alleged maintenance conditions that cannot be readily repaired by the Housing Authority, or cannot be repaired while the unit is occupied, the resident may qualify for a transfer. Management will determine if an Administrative transfer is warranted. The resident is required to report all damages to the manager by calling the Work Order Center at 617-988-4357. 

Medical Reasons/Reasonable Accommodation

A resident who has a serious physical or mental illness or impairment, which may or may not be life-threatening, which is expected to be of long duration and is either severely aggravated by his/her present housing or could be substantially improved by moving to another apartment because the accommodation cannot be made at the current unit, may qualify for a transfer. Or, if a resident is disabled, and needs different housing features to accommodate the particular disability they have (such as needing a wheelchair accessible unit) the resident may qualify for a transfer. 

Over- and Under- Housing

If a resident is living in an apartment with an inappropriate number of bedrooms for the household size, the resident may qualify for an under or over housed transfer.  For instance, if there is only one individual on the lease and he/she lives in a three bedroom apartment, that resident is over-housed.  If there are five family members on the lease, and the apartment contains two bedrooms, that family is under-housed. Over-housed residents are required to transfer.

The resident may elect to transfer On-site, and/or to another site as an “Internal Applicant” after successfully completing the final eligibility screening process which includes the review of the criminal record for all household members ages 14 and older (not applicable to residents residing at a state-aided development selecting to transfer to another state-aided development only the transfer policy will be applicable for these cases).

Residents who require unit sizes that do not exist at their current development may select developments of choice and they will be considered as an On-Site Over/Under housed transfer for the developments of choice.
Families who are over- housed in the State Assisted developments are required to move and if offered and reject a unit of appropriate size and type, the resident will then be required to pay 150% of their monthly rent.  On-site transfer housing offers will be made when the development is 98% occupied (at smaller sites no more than one vacancy) and one of every eight units by site by bedroom size will be offered to On-Site Over- and Under-housed transfers.
A Household Currently Housed In Federally-Assisted Housing-“Internal Applicant”

If the resident is ineligible to reside in Federal housing due to non-Citizen rule, deferred termination of assistance, or is affected by pro-ration of rent as a result of a household member’s non-citizen status to such an extent that their rent burden makes the apartment unaffordable or no longer qualifies for the Federally-Assisted program due to no members having eligible immigration status, the resident may apply for State-Aided housing as an Internal Applicant and will have to successfully complete the final eligibility screening process which will include the review of the criminal record for all household members ages 14 and older. Be advised that the resident must pay his/her rent in full or he/she will not be considered to be in “good standing.” Household with no members at all with eligible immigration status may be considered for a “No-Fault Eviction” Priority One status as an Internal Applicant.  Residents under Pro-rated rent may qualify for a Financial Burden preference as an Internal Applicant.
An Elderly/Disabled Household Currently Housed In Family Housing Program

If the Head or Co-Head is Elderly (age 60 + in State Family or 62 + in Federal Family program) or disabled and he/she wishes to transfer to the Elderly/Disabled housing program.  Household under this category only shall be eligible for Boston Residency, Veteran, and Elderly and Designated Housing Preference points. 

Levels of Transfers – Special Circumstances or Over or Under Housed 

Transfers will be approved for residents who can show evidence of need based on the reasons provided above and the supporting documentation (evidence) submitted with the Transfer request. A determination will also be made as to the level of transfer for which the resident qualifies.  For all but over/under housed and administrative transfers, the transfers will be defined as either: 

  • A Special Circumstances Transfer; or

  • Over/Under Housed On-Site or Internal Applicant Transfer

The determination of which level the transfer is assigned will depend on the seriousness of the situation.  Special Circumstances Transfers are moved as quickly as possible and will be offered the first available unit anywhere in the city unless it is documented where the resident may not reside and why. All other transfers and Internal Applicants may wait for some time before actually moving due to long waiting lists. Please be advised that the BHA does not have immediate transfers. All approved transfers are placed on a waiting list(s) and assigned based on the transfer level (Special Circumstances or Over/Under Housed On-Site or Internal Applicant ), application date, bedroom size, special characteristics needed in unit, and development of choice, if applicable. 

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