Housing Search Roadmap
Our Housing Search Workshops are on hold during the pandemic.
Once you begin the process of applying for housing, we recommend that you stay organized using the Housing Tracker.pdf.
- Birth Certificate
- State Issued Photo ID
- Social Security Card
- Bank Statements
- Income Verification
- Immigration Status
Work on finding at least two character references while collecting information for the application. You will need name, address, and phone number for each reference. Be sure to let that person know that you’re using them as a reference.
There are two restrictions on references:
- They cannot be an immediate family member. Distant relatives, like cousins, may be okay, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.
- They cannot be a part of the household applying for the assistance. Specifically, you can use a current roommate as a character reference if and only if that roommate isn’t planning on applying and moving with you.
Where to Find Housing
- Public Programs – DHCD is Massachusetts’ Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is the commonwealth’s division of HUD and they fund the rest of the publicly subsidized complexes and vouchers.
- Elderly and Non-Elderly Handicapped Housing: Apartment complexes specifically designed to be accessible to an aging population.
- Congregate/Shared Living: Congregate housing may be considered a step-up from a shelter, but is not typically considered permanent housing
- Family: In this case, family refers to one or more persons living together. The main eligibility component for family complexes is an income one, typically requiring very low to extremely low income
- MRVP: The Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program is DHCD’s version of the Housing Choice Voucher
- AHVP: The Alternative Housing Voucher Program has strict eligibility requirements, namely: you must be an individual with a disability and you must be single.
- HCVP (aka Section 8): The Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly referred to as a “Section 8 Voucher,” is funded by the Federal Government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) branch. However, the program itself is managed locally at the local level of Housing Authorities, who manage the waitlists for their areas.
- Nonprofits & Other Housing Initiatives
- Privately Subsidized Housing
- CHAMP ( Common Housing Application for Massachusetts Public Housing ) – This is the standard application for public housing. The on-line version is at https://publichousingapplication.ocd.state.ma.us/, and you can download information about completing this application: Champ Application Handout v1.pdf.
- MRVP ( Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program) and AHVP Alternative Housing Voucher Program – have their own applications.
- Section 8 Centralized Waitlist – the application for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) is online.
- Privately Subsidized Housing – May or may not accept the CHAMP universal application
- Accessible Housing – Community Based Housing
Our in-person workshops are discontinued during the pandemic. Please call the office if you need assistance.
The 2 hour Housing Search Workshop is designed to provide information and assistance with the process of applying for subsidized housing in Massachusetts. The workshop covers the applications one might fill out, and various resources available in the housing search.
We focus on the DHCD Universal Standard application. The DHCD Universal Standard app must be accepted by every Housing Authority in Massachusetts, and it asks for the same information that most other housing applications require.
There is plenty of time during the workshop so that participants can ask questions, fill out their applications, and receive immediate feedback on the completeness of their applications.
Any individual with a disability seeking housing in or around the MetroWest region, and currently residing in the MetroWest region, is encouraged to attend.
Space at each workshop is limited. You MUST register with Steven Blea to attend. Call Steven at 508-875-7853 X 137, or email him at email@example.com.