- This page, Apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP), is offered by
- Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities
Apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP)
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The Details of Apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP)
What are Section 8 Vouchers? for Apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP)
Note: There is currently no online application for Section 8 that serves Massachusetts residents. You'll complete an application and mail or take it to a Regional Administrating Agency.
If you qualify, you'll receive a voucher to pay part of your rent. You'll have a limited time to find a rental home anywhere in the country. You can also choose to stay in your current rental home if it meets the program's requirements. The home must meet minimum standards of health and safety.
We'll calculate the value of the voucher based on the cost of units like yours in the same area. However, the Section 8 program does not set the amount a landlord charges for rent.
Generally, you'll pay 30% of your income toward rent. We'll pay part of the rent directly to the landlord.
Who is eligible for Section 8 vouchers?
Your eligibility depends on your household's total gross income (or your income before taxes are taken out). The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes income limits for people receiving vouchers. Those limits are based on Median Family Income estimates and the Fair Market Rent for areas around the country.
Note: There are often long waiting lists for vouchers because demand for help with housing is high. While you wait, it's important to keep your contact information up to date with the agency you applied to so they can notify you of any changes. If you don't, you could lose your place on the waitlist.
Note: The EOHLC Division of Rental Assistance in partnership with the Boston Continuum of Care (CoC) was awarded 29 Stability Vouchers (SV). The availability of these Stability Vouchers is managed through a direct referral process. The Boston CoC makes direct referrals to EOHLC Division of Rental Assistance, and all referrals need to access the Coordinate Entry System (CE) through the Boston CoC.
In order to be eligible for an SV, a household must meet one of four eligibility criteria:
a. Individuals and families who are currently experiencing homelessness;
b. Individuals and families at risk of homelessness;
c. Individuals and families fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence,
stalking, sexual assault; and
d. Veterans and families that include a veteran family that meet one of the preceding criteria (1-3).
Please contact the Boston CoC if you believe you may be eligible for Stability Voucher Assistance.
How to apply Apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP)
Important: Massachusetts residents can't apply to Section 8 online right now. You will need to mail in your application or take it to a Regional Administering Agency in person.
You can use some vouchers anywhere as long as the unit meets health and safety standards (tenant-based or mobile vouchers). Other vouchers are for specific housing units (project-based vouchers). Apply for both to increase your chance of getting a voucher faster.
To apply for tenant-based or mobile vouchers:
- Download this application form and fill it out. (Find the form in a language other than English in the table below.)
- Email, mail, or take it to one of the 8 Regional Administering Agencies (RAAs) in Massachusetts. Find addresses and directions to the RAA closest to you.
- To increase your chances of getting a voucher, you should also contact a Local Housing Authority (LHA), which has a separate group of Section 8 vouchers. (You can look for an LHA in the second row of the same website as step 2.)
Project-based vouchers are administered by RAAs. Contact an RAA to learn how to apply for these.
There's high demand for housing assistance, so there are waitlists for applications. Some waitlists are so long that they may be closed. If you are in desperate need of help, apply to the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program first.
How we determine how much of your rent to cover for Apply for the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP)
Before March 1, 2024: Your Section 8 subsidy is based on "Fair Market Rents" set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) based on each metropolitan area.
Starting March 1, 2024: Your Section 8 subsidy is based on the ZIP code you're renting in. This change better reflects the cost of rents in specific neighborhoods, which helps expand housing choices and create new opportunities for program participants.