There are three basic types of government-funded housing in Massachusetts that help make rents more affordable for low- and moderate-income people:
- Public housing
- Multi-family subsidized housing
Housing assistance is limited in Massachusetts. Many people
eligible for housing assistance must wait for years on a waiting list until
they actually receive help. Housing assistance programs have a number of
requirements such as income restrictions.
Q1: If I’m a student, can I get help paying
Full- and part-time students are eligible to apply for most
housing assistance programs. However, two large federally funded housing
programs—Section 8 and the Low-Income Housing Credit programs (sometimes known
as “Tax Credit housing”)—do place limits on some adult students.
Q2: Am I eligible for a Section 8 voucher?
In general, students who are under age 24 are not eligible
to apply as the head of the household. These rules apply to part-time students
as well as full-time students.
However, you may still be eligible if ANY one of the
following is true:
- You are a veteran.
- You are married.
- You have a dependent child.
Q3: Am I eligible for housing under the Low-Income Housing
Credit programs (Tax Credit housing)?
Many full-time students are not eligible to apply for Tax Credit
housing as the head of a household.
However, full-time students are eligible if ANY one of
the following is true:
- You are receiving Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits.
- You were previously under the care of the state’s foster care
- You are a single parent, and no one can claim you or your
children as dependents.
- You are married and file (or could file) taxes jointly with your
- You are enrolled in job training through the Workforce Investment
Act or a similar government program.
You may also be eligible if ANY one of the following is true:
- Someone living in your house is not a full-time student.
- You attend school less than full time.
- You were a full-time student for four calendar months or less in
a calendar year.
Landlords may not know these rules and sometimes refuse to
rent to students who are eligible, so it is important to know the eligibility
Q4: How do I apply for a housing assistance program?
Call the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community
617.573.1100, and ask for a copy of a booklet called How
to Obtain Housing Assistance in Massachusetts.