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Learn How to Apply for Section 8 in Massachusetts

Families who struggle financially should learn how to apply for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts for the chance to be eligible for quality and affordable housing. By submitting a Section 8 application, low-income families have the opportunity for financial assistance toward the rent of a Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) unit in Massachusetts. However, understanding how to apply for housing assistance goes beyond simply submitting an application. There are tips for learning how to sign up for Section 8 which can make the difference between a Section 8 application being accepted or rejected. For applicants who wish to register for Section 8 housing program benefits, meeting initial eligibility requirements begins with calculating gross income limits as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Learn When to Submit HUD Section 8 Applications in Massachusetts

An important part of learning how to apply for housing assistance in Massachusetts is understanding the terms set forth by each public housing authority (PHA). Most applicants that sign up for HUD housing assume that enrollment is open all year long and that they can submit a Section 8 application according to their needs. However, this is not always the case. The DHCD in Massachusetts allows applicants to register for Section 8 housing program benefits during open enrollment only. This can fluctuate throughout the year depending on available housing units, and the number of applicants on the waiting list. Learning when a DHCD office accepts on a Section 8 application is one of the most important steps in the application process. Out of the many housing authorities in Massachusetts, only select offices may be open at any given time. Applicants who seek to sign up for HUD housing should initially choose the location in which they wish to live and then find out which offices are accepting applications. It is important to note that applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits through an open enrollment office are not guaranteed approval nor a home right away. Most applicants who sign up for HUD housing and receive approval will be placed on a waiting list until a home becomes available.

Learn How to Sign up for Section 8 Benefits in Massachusetts

Understanding how to sign up for Section 8 in Massachusetts includes learning some helpful tips throughout the application process. For instance, applicants who sign up for HUD housing are encouraged to submit a Section 8 application to more than one open office. In Massachusetts, families can signup for HUD housing with over 100 local Section 8 housing authorities. Not only can this potentially reduce an applicant’s waiting time, but it can increase his or her chances of finding a home quickly. One Section 8 application is required for each housing authority. Applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits should also learn how to apply for housing assistance according to what the DHCD office requires. While some offices may allow applicants to submit a Section 8 application online, other offices may be particular about only accepting hard copy applications. The Section 8 application process varies with each office, so it is crucial to learn which method to apply. Applicants for the Chelsea Housing Authority, for example, canregister for Section 8 housing program benefits in one of three ways: by completing an online pre-application, by downloading the pre-application and printing it out or by contacting the office to request a hard copy be mailed. Every office will establish how a Section 8 application can be submitted and it is the applicant’s responsibility to follow the criteria. Another important part in learning how to apply for Section 8 housing in MA involves knowing what to expect from the application. Some key information required from a Section 8 application includes but is not limited to:
  • Head of household’s Social Security Number or Alien Registration.
  • Spouse or partner’s Social Security Number or Alien Registration.
  • Current home address.
  • The number of residents in the unit.
  • Annual gross income.
  • Preferences.
The preferences of the Massachusetts Section 8 application include criteria which may boost an applicant’s position on the waiting list. These preferences can include circumstances such as disability, extremely low income, displacement from a natural storm, veteran status, being homeless or being a one-person family, to name a few.

Learn How to Check the Status of Your Section 8 Application in Massachusetts

Once applicants learn how to apply for housing assistance in Massachusetts and fill out the Section 8 application, they should understand what happens next. Checking the status of a Section 8 application is often as easy as logging into a website or back into the dashboard online to verify if any status changes have occurred. Applicants who sign up for HUD housing can always contact the local housing authority, but due to the high demand of housing requests some offices experience, a waiting list is probable. It is impossible for a housing authority office to provide an estimate of when applicants will be notified of their Section 8 application status, so patience during this process is of the utmost importance. Once applicants who register for Section 8 housing program benefits are notified of approval, they will be instructed on the next steps which may involve an interview and more thorough application. Applicants who sign up for HUD housing who are denied may have the chance to reapply in the future, as long as certain criteria are met for the program.