Leased Housing is a department of rental assistance programs that provides financial assistance to individuals or families with paying rent to private landlords. Qualified individuals and families must meet income guidelines based on their family size as set by HUD (federal) or DHCD (state), while tenants must pass criminal background checks, it is the responsibility of the landlord to screen voucher holders for suitability as tenants respectively.
The most widely known program is the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), formerly know as “Section 8”. This is the federal rent subsidy program. The state voucher programs are the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and Alternative Rental Housing Program (AHVP).
Qualified applicants are selected from the appropriate waiting list and given a voucher which is the NBHA’s promise to pay a landlord a rental subsidy on behalf of the voucher holder. Voucher holders locate an apartment they are interested in renting and the landlord completes a “Request for Tenancy Approval” (RTA) form where the landlord lists the amount of rent they are seeking, the type of utilities the unit has, and who would be responsible for paying the utilities. Based upon the information on the RTA, the Housing Authority determines if the rent is reasonable. Additionally, the voucher holder’s income is checked to ensure that they will not be paying more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income for their share of the rent. Apartments must then be inspected to ensure they meet HQS and UPCS standards.
Once all preliminary work has been completed, the landlord and the NBHA enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract and a lease is executed between landlord and the voucher holder. The original term of the lease is for one (1) year. After the first year, the lease becomes month to month. Voucher holders may move to another unit with a thirty (30) day notice to the landlord and NBHA after the initial twelve (12) month period.
For more information on the Housing Choice Voucher Program, or any of the Leased Housing programs, please call 508-997-4829 Ext. 601 on Monday through Friday between 8:30 A.M. and 4:00 P.M.