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Special Initiatives in Public Housing

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Through the Modernizing Public Housing And Serving Elders (ModPHASE) initiative, DHCD awards capital grants to Local Housing Authorities:

  • To improve existing Chapter 667 public housing developments
  • Expand resident access to supportive services
  • These grants are awarded via competitive funding rounds.

Public Housing Mixed-Income Community Demonstration Program

Beginning in November 2015, the Public Housing Mixed-Income Community Demonstration Program helps Local Housing Authorities interested in partnering with a developer to pursue mixed-income redevelopment of their state-aided public housing portfolio. 

  • planning
  • pre-development funding 


MassLeap Program

Massachusetts Learning, Employment and Asset Program (Mass LEAP) provides eligible residents of state-aided public housing developments and/or Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) participants with a set of services needed to support meaningful and sustainable earned income growth.

A Better Life (ABL)

A Better Life strives to improve outcomes for state-aided public housing residents in the areas of:

  • employment
  • financial literacy
  • education
  • focuses on economic advancement based on the potential of each individual family.

Chapter 235

In August 2014, Chapter 235 of the Acts of 2014, An Act Relative to Housing Authorities (“the Legislation”) was signed into law (St. 2014, c. 235).

The Legislation mandated a series of new performance management and capacity building actions to improve the management of state public housing in Massachusetts.

Chapter 235

M.G.L. 121B

Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP)

Included in this Chapter 235 legislation is a requirement that:

  • each Local Housing Authority (LHA) must contract with an independent external certified public accounting (CPA) firm annually to perform “Agreed Upon Procedures (AUP)” review of the LHA’s financial records.

AUP Program Information

AUP Reports

Local Housing Authority Mandatory Board Member Training

Included in the Chapter 235 legislation is that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) establish a comprehensive training program for board members of state-aided LHAs.

Local Housing Authority Mandatory Board Member Training

Performance Management Review (PMR)

Chapter 235 legislation requires a Local Housing Authority (LHA) to participate in a comprehensive performance-based monitoring program, as established by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

Performance Management Review (PMR) Program Information

Regional Capital Assistance Team (RCAT) Program

The Regional Capital Assistance Team (RCAT) Program is legislatively mandated under Chapter 235 of the Acts of 2014. The program will create three regional teams of technical assistance providers to assist smaller LHAs in executing capital,maintenance plans, and projects.

Public Housing Tenant Survey

Included in the Chapter 235 legislation is a requirement that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) conduct an annual survey of residents living in state-aided public housing.

Public Housing Tenant Survey

Public Housing Special Initiatives

DHCD is excited to announce grant awards for the Self Sufficiency Program (SSP) to serve residents in state-aided public housing at six Local Housing authorities (LHA) and participants in the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) through three Regional Administering Agencies (RAA). Each of these agencies will receive a grant for a period of up to five years. This program follows the successful conclusion of the five year self-sufficiency pilot program, Mass LEAP (Learning Employment and Asset Program) that provided supportive services in education and training, career counseling and financial literacy to almost 200 families in state-subsidized public housing and MRVP voucher holders between 2014 and 2019. This new program builds off the lessons learned from that pilot, and the demonstrated value of supportive services with a focus on employment in strengthening families’ economic stability. Notable successes of Mass LEAP included: increased earned income, improved credit scores, high employment retention rates, and the development of tangible asset base that included retirement and education savings, emergency savings funds, and home-ownership savings. To read more about the successes of Mass LEAP and lessons learned go here Mass LEAP Findings The SSP grantees are: 1. Brookline Housing Authority 2. Chelsea/Everett Housing Authority 3. Fall River Housing Authority 4. Lowell Housing Authority 5. Somerville Housing Authority 6. Community Teamwork 7. NeighborWorks Housing Solutions 8. Way Finders

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