Created by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1978, the Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as Section 8, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. The program works as a rental subsidy that allows families to pay a reasonable amount of their income toward their rent. Eligible families will receive a voucher to begin searching for housing. Generally, families will pay no more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income toward their rent share. HRA pays the remaining amount to the owner on the family's behalf. This payment to the owner is known as the Housing Assistance Payment. Participants with a voucher are free to find private housing anywhere provided that it meets the requirements of the program.
HRA participates in the Centralized Section 8 waiting list as of February 1, 2017. Applications can now be completed online at section8listmass.org.
If you would prefer to use a paper application, stop by the office or call us to request one be mailed to you.
Current HCV program participants can download their annual recertification paperwork here
Eligibility for the HCV program is determined by annual gross family income and family size. During the application process, HRA will collect information concerning income, assets and family composition. All of this information will be verified with a third party such as a bank or other local agencies and will be used to determine eligibility and the amount of assistance the family qualifies for. Participants must comply with all program requirements, including completing their annual certification, accommodating Housing Quality Standards inspections, allowing property owners to make any needed repairs, and adhering to the terms of their lease.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program
Current HCV program participants may also be eligible to participate in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Click here for more information.
Project Based Voucher Program
Similar to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, Project Based Housing Choice Vouchers require tenants to pay 30% of their income towards rent. However, whereas the regular Section 8 subsidy is tied to a tenant, the Project Based HCV subsidy is attached to a designated unit. Prior to occupying a Project Based HCV unit, eligible households will be provided with detailed information that explains their rights and responsibilities under the program.