Eligibility for Section 8 in Massachusetts


Section 8 eligibility in Massachusetts is set by both the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as the local Massachusetts housing authority. While many residents believe that Section 8 eligibility is determined by the yearly income of a household, that is not the sole requirement that matters. Residents often have many questions about the Section 8 housing program in Massachusetts, such as “What are the qualifications for low income housing in Massachusetts?” More information about Section 8 eligibility is covered in the following areas:

  • What are the requirements for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts?
  • Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts?
  • What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Massachusetts?

What are the requirements for Section 8 in Massachusetts?

Section 8 eligibility is determined by two primary things in Massachusetts. Both personal or family income as well as the household size help to determine Section 8 eligibility in Massachusetts. Applicants that are wondering “do I qualify for Section 8 housing” will have to compare their income and household numbers to the minimum requirements set by the state of Massachusetts.

Do I qualify for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts?

In order to answer the question of “do I qualify for Section 8 housing” applicants need to figure out the median income of the neighborhood. The median income is just the collected average income for the area, which means that each neighborhood will have a different income level. In order to meet the Section 8 eligibility requirements, applicants must be making less than 30 percent of the median income for the neighborhood. A couple of neighborhoods in Massachusetts might have slightly different Section 8 eligibility requirements. “What are the requirements for Section 8 in such neighborhoods?” is a question you may ask. The answer is that select neighborhoods in Massachusetts will require applicants earn at least 50 percent below the median income level for the neighborhood in order to qualify for rental housing subsidies.

What do I need to apply for Section 8 in Massachusetts?

A common question that applicants have is “what do I need to apply for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts?” In addition to providing information about their income and family size, applicants will have to submit some basic documentation as well. These documents must be provided for all members of the family. Everyone in the house must have Social Security cards that they can present with the application. In Massachusetts, part of Section 8 eligibility also requires that applicants provide proof of income and citizenship. Applicants in the military must provide military papers as well. Section 8 eligibility guidelines also state that applicants already receiving some form of federal aid will also have to submit that information along with their application.

Applicants have two primary options for getting a Section 8 housing application. The local housing authority website will have an online application available. The website also contains useful information regarding Section 8 eligibility guidelines. Applicants can visit any DHCD office in person to get a physical application. Applicants who visit in person also have the option of having a registered HUD agent fill out on the application on their behalf. This is a good idea for applicants that are still confused about any of the Section 8 eligibility requirements.

It is advised to send in the application as early as possible to prove Section 8 eligibility requirements are met. In Massachusetts, preference is typically given to applicants that are homeless, disabled or military veterans. This does not mean they are the only ones that can apply, it just means they are usually moved up higher on the list.

Just meeting the Section 8 eligibility requirements does not mean that an applicant will be accepted into the program. Unfortunately, there are thousands of applicants for the program each year, and only so many vouchers that are available. Applicants that meet the Section 8 eligibility requirements will be accepted into the program, but will be put on a waiting list. The waiting list time varies depending on how many other applicants are seeking vouchers in the neighborhood.

Applicants can keep up with the status of their application by getting in touch with the local DCHD office. This can be done by just checking the status online, visiting in person, or calling to speak with an agent. Applicants are encouraged to check back as often as possible until they know they were accepted for meeting all of the Section 8 eligibility guidelines. The sooner they can catch issues, the better. According to HUD, the number one reason for an applicant getting denied is not catching an error in the application in time.

What is Section 8?

The Section 8 program was created by the federal government to assist low-income individuals and families with finding affordable private housing. To learn how you can become a member of this assistance program, download our helpful guide today. Beneficiaries of the program have a percentage of their rent covered by the government via housing subsidies, which are administered on a local level by public housing agencies or PHAs directly to landlords. Section 8 members are allowed to choose apartments, townhouses or even modest homes in this program, but the landlord must accept government subsidies in order for the provided housing vouchers to be used. Learn more about how you can qualify for housing assistance and discover the steps to file an application by clicking here.

How much will my housing subsidy be?

As a Section 8 beneficiary, you will pay the difference between your landlord’s rent amount and how much your housing subsidy covers. To find out how you can get a housing subsidy, download our guide now. If you are accepted into the Section 8 program, your public housing agency will calculate the maximum assistance you can receive. Your maximum housing assistance will either be the total rent of your apartment/home minus 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income or it will be the payment standard less 30 percent of your adjusted monthly income, whichever amount is lower. To find out how Section 8 can benefit you today, click here.