When you return from active duty, we hope that you know where you will live. Unfortunately some veterans may have lost their housing and are having trouble finding a place to live or having trouble paying the rent or mortgage. The information included below may help you solve your housing problems.

Where can I get help finding a place to live?

The first place to visit is your local Veterans' Services Officer (VSO) in the community where you live or want to live. There are four emergency shelters, 11 transitional shelters, and 13 state-funded Outreach Centers scattered across the state that will provide help to veterans and their families at no cost. The VA Medical Centers in Bedford, Boston, Brockton, and the VA clinic in Springfield have Homeless Coordinators who can help. Women veterans who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness can get help from the VA Boston's Women's Homelessness Program.

  • To contact your VSO, call City/Town Hall and ask to be connected with "Veterans' Services" or go to www.mass.gov/veterans.
  • For more information about homeless and outreach services, visit www.mass.gov/veterans, under "Outreach and Counseling" or call (617) 210-5928.
  • To contact a VA Homeless Coordinator, call the VAMC and ask to speak to the "Homeless Coordinator." Bedford (781) 687-2705; Boston (617) 371-1831; or Brockton (508) 583-4500.
  • Call the Women's Homelessness Program at (857) 364-4027.

Can I get help paying my rent for a few months?

Yes. M.G.L. Chapter 115 can provide you with short-term financial assistance, including rent or mortgage payments until you can find a job or other benefits. Chapter 115 is a needs-based program administered through your local VSO.

  • To contact your VSO, call City/Town Hall and ask to be connected with "Veterans' Services" or go to www.mass.gov/veterans.

I've been living with friends and they want me to get my own place. Where can I stay until I find housing I can afford?

If you need an immediate place to live, the first place to look is at emergency shelters or transitional housing. There are four drug- and alcohol-free shelters for homeless veterans in Massachusetts-in Boston, Leeds, New Bedford, and Worcester. Other homeless shelters can also accommodate you.

How can I find affordable housing through the VA?

The VA Supported Housing (VASH) program provides section 8 vouchers to chronically homeless veterans with substance abuse and/or mental health issues. The VA's Home Loan program can be used for the purchase or construction of single-family homes, townhouses, or condominiums. The loans are made by a lender, such as a mortgage company, savings and loan, or bank. The VA guarantees part of the total loan amount. The result is that purchasers are able to obtain a competitive interest rate without having to make a down payment.

  • For information on VASH call the VASH Program Assistant at a VA Medical Center near you: Bedford (781) 687-2374, Boston (617) 861-1426, or Northampton (413) 584-4040, x2139.
  • The SAVE Team may also be able to assist you. Email save@massmail.state.ma.us or call (888) 844-2838.

Is there veterans' preference for publicly funded housing if I cannot afford housing in the private market?

Yes, some publicly funded housing offers veterans' preference to veterans with wartime service who have a discharge or release under honorable conditions. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) monitors federal and state-funded public housing. As a veteran, you may qualify for veterans' preference. If you are a disabled veteran, contact the Massachusetts Accessible Housing Registry for assistance.

  • To find a local housing authority, visit www.mass.gov/dhcd or call (617) 573-1100.
  • Contact the Massachusetts Accessible Housing Registry at (617) 338-6665.

(Welcome Home, 3rd edition, April 2010.)

Go to Your Veterans' Service Officer (VSO)