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Each congregate housing unit is set up differently with different requirements and may allow for a different numbers of residents in each unit. There are some questions you should ask the housing provider to determine if a specific congregate housing unit meets the requirements to be a qualified residence.
Congregate Housing is a shared living environment designed to integrate the housing and services needs of elders and younger disabled individuals. The goal of Congregate Housing is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supportive services in a residential setting. Congregate Housing is neither a nursing home nor a medical care facility. It does not offer 24-hour care and supervision. Services are made available to aid residents in managing Activities of Daily Living in a supportive, but not custodial environment. Each resident has a private bedroom, but shares one or more of the following: kitchen facilities, dining facilities, and/or bathing facilities. Throughout the state there are many variations in size and design.
For more information on Congregate Housing please visit the Executive Office of Elder Affairs “Congregate Housing” web page.
Eligibility for the congregate housing program requires a person to apply to the local housing authority, be at least 60 years of age or disabled, and meet the financial eligibility guidelines of the state 667 public housing program. To be eligible, applicants must also:
Qualified residences must meet the following criteria:
If the congregate housing has more than 4 residents sharing a single bathroom and/or kitchen, the housing is not a qualified residence. Many congregate housing units have half bathrooms inside the resident’s room with shared bathing space; if this is the case, the unit must have 4 or fewer unrelated individuals to be a qualified residence.
However, some congregate housing is a grouping of rooms which each have their own living space, full bathroom (including bathing space such as a bathtub or shower) and a cooking space within each unit. This arrangement would be similar to a studio apartment. If this is the case, each unit within the congregate housing may be a qualified residence, if the setting meets the additional requirements below.
If services are required as a condition of tenancy, this is not a qualified residence. Additionally, if services must be provided by a specific service provider as specified by the housing provider, this housing wouldn’t be a qualified residence.
The following clauses may not be a part of the lease:
If a resident is required to participate in activities as a condition of tenancy, this is not a qualified residence.
If there is a curfew or other limit on a resident’s access to a unit, this would not meet the requirements of a qualified residence. Similarly, the lease or housing provider policies cannot require the participant to give notice for any absence from the unit.
If the lease or policies place any other restrictions on the participant, or if you have other questions, please contact Courtenay Loiselle at Courtenay.Loiselle@state.ma.us for additional assistance in determining if the residence meets the criteria as a Qualified Residence for the MFP Demonstration.
For more information on Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration 811 Project Rental Assistance & Housing Forms please contact the MFP Strategic Housing Partnership Coordinator.