The Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), formerly known as the Chapter 707 Program, provides a permanent improvement in the lives of low-income families and individuals by offering both tenant- and project-based rental subsidies. The tenant-based voucher, which is known as Mobile, is assigned to the Participant and is valid for any housing unit that meets the standards of the state sanitary code. Project Based vouchers are assigned to a specific housing unit or development. The owner rents these units to a program eligible tenant, and Project Based tenants who move forfeit the subsidy. In both cases, a regional non-profit housing agency or a local housing authority administers the program locally. There are currently 8 regional non-profit housing agencies and 112 local housing authorities that administer the MRVP throughout the Commonwealth to approximately 5,100 households under lease as of January, 2013 (2,100 Mobile, 3,000 Project Based). Through the assistance of this program, thousands of Massachusetts' families and individuals benefit from the long-term stabilization of their often uncertain housing and financial situation.
DHCD's Division of Public Housing and Rental Assistance, which administers this program, has the responsibility for regulatory and administrative oversight of all state public housing programs which address the needs of low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
How it works:
For the Mobile component (tenant based program), the state subsidy or voucher value is a set amount. This amount is determined by several factors: the tenant's income, household size and geography. The participant pays the difference between the value of the voucher and what the landlord charges for rent. Much of the program’s recent growth has been in vouchers targeted to homeless families in motels or shelters; however, when other existing voucher holders leave the program, their vouchers are offered to eligible applicants on local waiting lists which can be quite lengthy, or closed, due to the great demand.
For the Project Based component, a participant pays either 35% or 40% of their adjusted gross income, depending upon whether or not heat is included in the utilities. While waiting lists for the Project Based component are lengthy, some local housing agencies are still accepting applications.
Who is eligible?
An applicant whose household income does not exceed 50% of Area Median Income. The local housing agency will also screen for CORI prior to admitting an applicant to the program.
While the waits may be lengthy, persons interested in applying for MRVP should contact the local housing agency in the area in which they wish to reside to check the status of the agency’s waiting list, open or closed. Applications may be made where waiting lists are open. Not all agencies administer both the Mobile and Project Based programs.
For further information:
Please contact the Bureau of Rental Assistance at (617) 573-1150.