Quick Housing Guide

By August 13, 2020 April 7th, 2021 Resources

Find applications, section 8 voucher information, and housing fast tracks– information all vital to beginning your housing search journey!

For a PDF version of this information please click here

Section 8 Vouchers

This program helps low income households pay for privately owned housing by paying a subsidy directly to the landlord. This amount is determined on the household’s total income. The family would then pay the landlord the remaining amount. Applicants are encouraged to submit both applications to regional and housing authorities. Apply to a centralized Massachusetts section 8 waiting list


Places to look for Section 8 Holders 
masshousingregistry.orgBay State Banner

Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP)

AHVPs provide vouchers to non-elderly, disabled individuals who fall into the low-income category.

  • Administering agencies: here
  • Income limits: here
  • Application: here

Massachusetts Mobile Renter Voucher Program (MRVP)

MRVP offers both tenant and project based subsidies for MA residents.

Public Housing

Housing authorities operate numerous housing developments with affordable openings for low income individuals. A voucher is not necessary.

To apply:

  • Through housing authorities located where you wish to live
    • No limit on number of authorities you can apply to
    • For a list of Massachusetts housing authorities click here
  • Through Housing and Urban Development (HUD) services
    • HUD has apartment owners offer reduced rent to low-income tenants by providing a subsidy
    • Call (800) 955-2232 to inquire about Boston HUD rentals

Emergency Assistance

Emergency Assistance (EA) is a state program that provides certain homeless families with children with emergency shelter and housing services.

For Massachusetts EA Application:

Call Department of Housing and Community Development: (866) 584-0653

  • Ask about HomeBASE and Short-term housing (STHT) program
  • HomeBASE benefits include up to $10,000 for rent and utilities arrears, first and last month’s rent, moving costs, and other financial assistance to become or remain housed
    • Only available to those eligible for EA
    • If you have no safe place to go and meet eligibility rules, you have a right to be placed in an EA shelter or HomeBASE temporary accommodation

If denied EA…

There are multiple Boston-based non-profits that will help in case you are denied EA. These programs will offer alternative arrangements and EA advocacy on your behalf.

Places to Contact: 

Mass Coalition for the Homeless: (781)595-7570
Rosie's Place Legal Program: (617)318-0271
Boston Office of Housing Stability: (617)635-4200
City of Boston Hotline: 311
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