Program Description

The Special Needs Housing programs (Chapters 689, 167) are designed to provide housing with specialized services for persons with mental illness, mental retardation or physical disabilities. The purpose of these programs is to provide onsite services so tenants can maintain a maximum level of independence.

DHCD's Division of Public Housing and Rental Assistance, which administers this program, has the responsibility for regulatory and administrative oversight of all state-aided public housing programs which address the needs of low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

How it works:

Most of the programs are managed living arrangements for people eligible for services of the Department of Mental Health or Department of Mental Retardation. The local housing authority (LHA) owns the building and leases it to a residential services provider, which provides necessary service staff support to assist residents. Providers are under contract with the state human services agency whose clients are served at the site.

Who is eligible:

Residents are referred to the shared house by the state human services agency based on the match between the applicant's need and the services offered at the house. People with interest in residing in a shared house should contact the local area office of the Department of Mental Health or Department of Mental Retardation. LHAs do not select residents for these programs, with the exception of Ch. 689 family housing where households need wheelchair accessibility. Interested households seeking these units must apply to the local housing authority and are eligible based on income qualification and need for accessible housing.

Grant amounts:

Grants vary depending on the costs of land or building acquisition, construction or renovation costs, and design and other soft costs.

For further information:

Please contact the Bureau of Housing Development and Construction at (617) 573-1335. For further information