The Massachusetts Section 8 program offers assistance to qualified households so that families can remain in their current living situation, or can move into an acceptable, more affordable dwelling. Qualified applicants receive housing vouchers to apply towards their rent.
Governed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, Section 8 housing vouchers are federally funded but administered and distributed by a local housing authority. In Massachusetts, affordable housing is handled by the Department of Housing and Community Development offices (DHCD). Find out more about Massachusetts low income housing programs from the following topics:
- Section 8 Eligibility in Massachusetts
- How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Massachusetts
- Information about Section 8 Waiting Lists in Massachusetts
- Section 8 Denials in Massachusetts
Section 8 Eligibility in Massachusetts
Section 8 eligibility in Massachusetts is largely based on income, as well as household size. To be eligible for affordable housing in Massachusetts applicants must also remain current with child support and be a U.S. citizen and current resident of the state of MA.
What are the income requirements for low income housing eligibility? To qualify for Section 8, applicants must earn less than 30 percent of the median income of neighboring residents. In some counties, the applicant must earn at least 50 percent below the median income. MA Section 8 applicants are required to provide the necessary documentation to substantiate the income for all household members.
What do I need to apply for low income housing? In addition to proof of income, public housing applicants in Massachusetts need to provide other documentation as well. This includes but is not limited to proof of:
- Household size.
- U.S. citizenship.
- Banking information.
- Social Security Numbers
- Enrollment in other government assistance programs.
Do I qualify for Section 8 housing? Qualifying for affordable housing depends on several factors. The HUD establishes income limits within the state of Massachusetts. The current limits stipulate that 75 percent of the issued vouchers go to housing applicants whose total income falls at or below 30 percent of the average household income level.
What are the qualifications for low income housing in Massachusetts? To be eligible for low income housing in Massachusetts, the applicant must provide all required documentation along with their application.
To be considered, potential applicants and household members in the state of Massachusetts cannot have a criminal record. Massachusetts also runs a credit check on all applicants, though the result is not a final determining factor.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Massachusetts
In many Massachusetts counties, the average wait time for approved public housing candidates to receive housing is five to seven years. Priority is given to the elderly, disabled, families with young children, military veterans and pregnant women.
Public housing applicants who want help learning how to sign up for low income housing can check the local housing authority’s website or visit the DHCD office in person. Online application for low income housing is available to applicants with access to a computer. Submitting the application early is crucial. Preference is given to applicants and household members who are local, homeless, veterans, disabled or elderly.
If an applicant falls into any of these categories, their application may be moved higher on the list and the wait time will be shorter. The competition for housing in Massachusetts is high, with applications being accepted only a few times throughout the year. There are several things that an applicant can do to avoid having their application rejected. First, applicants should submit all requested documentation, and submit it early.
Eligibility for MA affordable housing is not immediately determined upon submission. Vouchers and openings have to be available to be awarded, and only a set number of vouchers are allowed to be offered each year. Once a spot becomes available, a qualified low income housing applicant will be contacted with details about the verification process via the mail.
Applicants will also need to know how to check status for Section 8 applications once they have been submitted. HUD public housing application status can be accessed online through the local DCHD office, or by calling the office in person. When an applicant takes the time to register for the affordable housing program the next step is to continue to monitor the application’s progress.
Information About Section 8 Waiting Lists in Massachusetts
Currently, the Massachusetts Section 8 housing program application waiting list is updated every two years. MA low income housing waiting list applicants may check waiting list status for Section 8 by completing a request for status, or by sending a request in writing.
A key factor in determining eligibility for low income housing in Massachusetts is income. All assets and incoming income must be indicated on the application. Investments, retirement plans, child support, and alimony will be considered when calculating income. Once approved for public housing, the MA resident can still experience a long wait.
Information about affordable housing waiting lists can be obtained by contacting the office where the application was submitted. Being placed on the Section 8 housing waiting list 2016 does not mean that the applicant will automatically be granted a voucher. Depending on the applicant’s county, the number of vouchers available for the area may be low.
When will the low income housing waiting lists open? Currently, the state routinely posts when the waiting lists will open, indicating the number of vacancies that are available. Traditionally, waiting lists only open a few times a year and potential applicants are asked to check back often.
Section 8 Denials in Massachusetts
A Section 8 denial letter will indicate whether an applicant has been approved or denied for public housing assistance. Applicants who have been determined ineligible for Section 8 vouchers may have been disqualified for many reasons.
What are the reasons for low income housing denial? Applicants who are rejected will want to investigate the reasons why approval was denied. In many instances, the applicant may not have sent all of the correct information.
A public housing denial appeal can be filed if an applicant feels they have been incorrectly denied benefits. Circumstances for the applicant may have changed in the time between affordable housing application and voucher approval, which could result in denial. The reason for low income housing denial will be clearly stated in the denial letter.
Section 8 housing disqualifications can be appealed. Most applicants are not sure what to do if an affordable housing application was denied. In many instances, applicants can learn how to appeal low income housing denial by speaking with a registered agent at the DHCD. In some instances, the applicant may be encouraged to reapply.
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