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What do I need to give DHCD to be “fully eligible”?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Rosie's Place
Created June 2014

To be fully eligible, DHCD needs:

  1. The basic documents for “presumptive placement.”
  2. Proof of your family’s income and legal status in the U.S. for one family member.
  3. You also have to show that you are homeless for the right reason. You may be eligible if you are homeless because of:
    • Domestic violence
    • A fire, flood or natural disaster
    • An eviction that was not your fault, or because
    • You have been staying in a very unsafe housing situation, a car, or other unfit place.

If you give DHCD documents that show you are homeless for one of the reasons below, they should find you “fully eligible” and place you in shelter.

Proof of Reasons You Are Homeless
If you are homeless because of… Examples of documents that prove it
1. Significant health and safety risk where you are staying now
  • Letter or pictures that show your family stayed in a place not meant for human habitation, like a car, emergency room, or bus station.
  • Letters that show your family stayed in many different people’s homes in the past few weeks.
  • Letters, pictures, or medical documents that show violence, substance abuse, or mental illness where you were living.
2. Fire, flood or natural disaster
  • Letter from Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross, local fire or police department, insurance company, former landlord.
3. Domestic violence
  • Letter from a domestic violence advocate, social service agency or medical provider on letterhead.
  • Police report, restraining order or documents that show you tried to get a restraining order.
  • Medical report of injuries.
  • Statement from a “reliable” witness, someone DHCD believes is telling the truth.
4. You were evicted from your last apartment for no fault, or for nonpayment of rent because you lost income, or because of a disability or medical condition
  • Court order of eviction.
  • Notice to quit.
  • Agreement for judgment.
  • Proof of a loss of income in past 12 months.
  • Letter from a doctor or mental health professional stating that your nonpayment was due to a disability.
Proof of Legal Status in the U.S. for One Family Member
What you need to prove For whom Examples of documents that prove it
Citizenship Any one person in the family US birth certificate; certificate of naturalization or citizenship
Legally present non-citizen Any one person in the family Immigration documents showing lawful presence
Proof of Income and Recently Ended Employment
What you need to prove For whom Examples of documents that prove it
Earned income All family members seeking shelter
  • Last 4 weeks’ pay stubs, or letter from employer on company letterhead about what he expects to pay you
  • For self-employment, IRS filings and proof of business expenses
Unearned income (TAFDC, EAEDC, SSI, Unemployment) All family members seeking shelter
  • Letter from government agency stating benefit and amount
  • Copy of a payment check or deposit
Reason lost job within past 90 days Any adult who lost job in past 90 days
  • Layoff notice
  • Dismissal letter
  • Unemployment registration
  • Proof of unemployment claim status
  • Letter from former employer, medical provider or other reliable source explaining why you lost your job

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