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Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (SNO Mass) Program

The Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (or “SNO Mass”) Program supports DHCD Housing Choice Voucher families with school-aged children making moves to communities with high-quality schools, parks and open space, and healthy, safe environments. On this page, DHCD voucher holders and property owners can learn how to participate in this program.

What is SNO Mass?

The Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (or “SNO Mass”) Program supports DHCD Housing Choice Voucher families with school-aged children making moves to communities with high-quality schools, parks and open space, and healthy, safe environments. SNO Mass helps families take full advantage of the “choice” embedded in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Who is eligible for SNO Mass?

In order to participate in the SNO Mass program, you must:

  • Have a DHCD Housing Choice Voucher (a.k.a. Section 8 voucher) from one of DHCD’s 9 Regional Administering Agencies: Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI), Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND), Metro Housing|Boston, NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, RCAP Solutions, South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC), and Way Finders
  • Have at least one child under the age of 18 in your household
  • Currently live in an area not designated as a SNO Mass Opportunity Area
  • Be in good standing with your Regional Administering Agency 

What is a SNO Mass "Opportunity Area" and where are they?

Certain neighborhoods in each region of the state have been designated as SNO Mass “Opportunity Areas,” based on the Child Opportunity Index (COI). You can find these resources in our "Maps and SNO Mass Address Locator Tool' section below. 

     

    Table of Contents

    Program Logo. Includes text 'SNO Mass Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts' and four multicolored houses

    More Information for Voucher Holders

    Why is SNO Mass important?

    The neighborhood you live in has a big impact on your family. It can influence your family’s health, the quality of your child’s education, and their future income and quality of life.

    What are the benefits of participating in the SNO Mass program?

    • Support from a dedicated Mobility Specialist who can help you find an apartment, negotiate with landlords, and connect you to resources in your new neighborhood.
    • Access to neighborhood information and an online tool that will help you search for housing in SNO Mass Opportunity Areas.
    • Higher voucher value in certain communities.
    • Financial assistance with security deposit, moving costs, and other fees associated with finding an apartment and to assist you and your family after your move.

    Learn more and check out our brochure.


    What do SNO Mass participants say about their experience in the program?

    • “In [my old neighborhood] I didn’t have that peace of mind where my kids could be outside alone…Moving out here with the SNO Mass program…it’s safer.” – SNO Mass Participant in Hampden County
    • “My children are going to get what they need in this community.” – SNO Mass Participant on the North Shore
    • “I feel a lot more peace in my life. I come home, and I just feel at peace, at ease.” – SNO Mass Participant on the North Shore
    • “The SNO Mass program helped me with…the moving truck [and] the security deposit…Those funds helped me to transition to live in this community.” – SNO Mass Participant in Hampden County
    • “[The SNO Mass staff] are with you step-by-step. You’re not alone…If I need any kind of help, they’re…a phone call away.” – SNO Mass Participant on the North Shore


    How can I get more information about SNO Mass and get involved?

    Contact your Regional Administering Agency (the agency that administers your voucher):

    More Information for Property Owners

    SNO Mass Property Owners FAQ

    Why should I participate in the SNO Mass program?

    By participating in SNO Mass, we can help you meet your financial goals as a property owner and provide families with a place they are proud to call home. There are many benefits of participating:

    • We have a ready pool of prospective tenants, so we can help you fill your units efficiently.
    • You will benefit from a reliable rental revenue stream, as the Housing Choice Voucher will absorb any loss in your renters’ incomes due to job loss or hourly work reduction. Monthly subsidy payments are made through direct deposit.
    • You will receive $500 when you rent to a SNO Mass participant and an additional $500 when you renew the lease or rent the unit to another SNO Mass tenant.
    • By renting to a SNO Mass participant, you may also potentially receive a higher rent subsidy than what other local housing authorities offer (depending on the area).
    • You maintain control over your own property management decisions. You screen and make your own decisions about applicant suitability, using the same criteria in accordance with Fair Housing laws as you would use to screen any other prospective tenant. 
    • You will have a single point of contact at our agency to help ensure a smooth, expedited lease-up process and to handle any inquiries after the tenant moves in.

    Are my properties located in SNO Mass Opportunity Areas?

    Use the Address Locator Tool below to search the address of your property and find out whether or not it is located in a SNO Mass Opportunity Area.

    What do property owners who rent to SNO Mass participants have to say about the program?

    • “It’s a win-win for tenants and landlords.” – Property Owner in Hampden County
    • “We highly recommend this program! We have already recommended friends, who are also landlords, to this program.” – Property Owner on the North Shore


    How can I get more information about SNO Mass and get involved?

    Contact the Regional Administering Agency that serves the community your property is located in:

    More Information on the Child Opportunity Index (COI)

    The COI was developed by DiversityDataKids.org, which is housed at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The COI is a composite index measured at the census tract level that captures neighborhood resources and conditions that impact a child’s development. It takes into account 29 indicators spanning 3 domains: education, health and environment, and social and economic.

    Maps and SNO Mass Address Locator Tool

    Please use our SNO Mass Address Locator Tool to find out if a home is located in an opportunity area:

     

    SNO Mass Berkshire County Map that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Cape Cod Map that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Map of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Map of Metro Boston that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Map of Metro West that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Map of North Shore and Merrimack that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Map of the South Shore that highlights opportunity areas within the region
    SNO Mass Worcester County Map that highlights opportunity areas within the region
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