Learn About Section 8 Housing in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Section 8 housing program was originally developed in the 1970s. The title, Section 8, comes from the Section of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 that directly addresses low income housing subsidies. The Massachusetts Section 8 voucher program offers assistance to qualified low income households so that families can remain in their current living situation, or can move into an acceptable, more affordable dwelling.

Governed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, Section 8 housing vouchers are federally funded but administered and distributed by a local housing authority. In Massachusetts, Section 8 is handled by the Department of Housing and Community Development offices (DHCD). All low income house rentals are placed on a list by the DHCD, and approved applicants may select the dwelling that best suits their needs. Find out more about Massachusetts Section 8 programs from the following topics:

  • Section 8 eligibility in Massachusetts
  • How to apply for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts
  • Information about Section 8 waiting lists in Massachusetts
  • Section 8 denials in Massachusetts

Learn About Section 8 Requirements
in Massachusetts

Section 8 Eligibility in Massachusetts is based on income, as well as household size. To be eligible for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts applicants must also remain current with child support and be a U.S. citizen and current resident of the state of MA.

What are the requirements for Section 8 eligibility? MA Section 8 applicants are required to provide the necessary documentation for all full-time household members. Social security cards must be presented for all permanent members of the household. Section 8 in Massachusetts also requires that the applicant provide proof of income, citizenship and any military papers from former or current service. To qualify for Section 8, applicants must earn less than 30 percent of the median income of neighboring residents. In some counties, the applicant must earn at least 50 percent below the median income.

What do I need to apply for Section 8 housing? Section 8 applicants in Massachusetts will need to gather documentation in order to apply for housing subsidies. The required documents include proof of income, household demographic, U.S. citizenship, banking information, as well as military and federal aid papers.

Do I qualify for Section 8 housing? Qualifying for Section 8 depends on several factors. The HUD establishes income limits within the state of Massachusetts. The current limits stipulate that 75 percent of the issued vouchers go to housing applicants whose total income falls at or below 30 percent of the average household income level.

What are the qualifications for low income housing in Massachusetts? To be eligible for Section 8 in Massachusetts, the applicant must provide all required documentation along with their application. To be considered, potential applicants and household members in the state of Massachusetts cannot have a criminal record. Massachusetts also runs a credit check on all applicants, though the result is not a final determining factor.

Learn How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in Massachusetts

To apply for Section 8 housing in Massachusetts, Section 8 applicants must gather key documents and meet requirements as set forth by the state. Massachusetts Section 8 applicant funding numbers in the millions each year. The Section 8 housing program operates several local efforts through the federal government, but every program still experiences a demand rate that exceeds the housing supply. In many Massachusetts counties, the average wait time for approved Section 8 candidates to receive housing is five to seven years. Priority is given to the elderly, disabled, families with young children, military veterans and pregnant women.

Section 8 applicants who want help learning how to sign up for Section 8 can check the local housing authority’s website or visit the DHCD office in person. Online application for low income housing is available to applicants with access to a computer. Submitting the application early is crucial. Preference is given to applicants and household members who are local, homeless, veterans, disabled or elderly. If an applicant falls into any of these categories, their application may be moved higher on the list and the wait time will be shorter. The competition for housing in Massachusetts is high, with applications being accepted only a few times throughout the year. There are several things that an applicant can do to avoid having their application rejected. First, applicants should submit all requested documentation, and submit it early.

Eligibility for MA Section 8 housing is not immediately determined upon submission. Vouchers and openings have to be available to be awarded, and only a set number of vouchers are allowed to be offered each year. Once a spot becomes available, a qualified Section 8 applicant will be contacted with details about the verification process via the mail.

Applicants will also need to know how to check status for Section 8 applications once they have been submitted. HUD Section 8 application status can be accessed online through the local DCHD office, or by calling the office in person. When an applicant takes the time to register for the Section 8 housing program the next step is to continue to monitor the application’s progress.

Learn About Section 8 Waiting Lists in Massachusetts

Currently, the Massachusetts Section 8 housing program application waiting list is updated every two years. MA low income housing waiting list applicants may check waiting list status for Section 8 by completing a request for status, or by sending a request in writing. A key factor in determining eligibility for Section 8 in Massachusetts is income. All assets and incoming income must be indicated on the application. Investments, retirement plans, child support and alimony will be considered when calculating income. Once approved for Section 8 housing, the MA resident can still experience a long wait.

Information about Section 8 waiting lists can be obtained by contacting the office where the application was submitted. Being placed on the Section 8 housing waiting list 2016 does not mean that the applicant will automatically be granted a voucher. Depending on the applicant’s county, the amount of vouchers available for the area may be low.

When will the Section 8 waiting lists open? Currently, the state routinely posts when the waiting lists will open, indicating the number of vacancies that are available. Traditionally, waiting lists only open a few times a year and potential applicants are asked to check back often.

Learn About Section 8 Denials in Massachusetts

A Section 8 denial letter will indicate whether an applicant has been approved or denied for Section 8 assistance. Applicants who have been determined ineligible for Section 8 vouchers may have been disqualified for many reasons. What are the reasons for Section 8 denial? Applicants who are rejected will want to investigate the reasons why approval was denied. In many instances, the applicant may not have sent all of the correct information.

A Section 8 denial appeal, can be filed if an applicant feels they have been incorrectly denied benefits. Circumstances for the applicant may have changed in the time between Section 8 application and voucher approval, which could result in denial. The reason for Section 8 denial will be clearly stated in the denial letter.

Section 8 housing disqualifications can be appealed. Most applicants are not sure what to do if a Section 8 application was denied. In many instances, applicants can learn how to appeal Section 8 denial by speaking with a registered agent at the DHCD. In some instances, the applicant may be encouraged to reapply.

Website: Local Offices.

State: Massachusetts

Contact Information

  • Office Name/Address

    Boston Regional Office

    Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr.

    Federal Building

    10 Causeway Street

    3rd Floor

    Boston, MA 02222-1092

  • Manager


    Acting Regional Administrator

  • Phone/Fax

    (617) 994-8200


    (617) 565-6558


  • Region/Regional Office

    Region I

    Boston MA