participating housing agencies

Welcome to the Massachusetts Section 8 Centralized Waiting List

The Massachusetts Section 8 Centralized Waiting List is a partnership of 103 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which streamlines their application process for a Section 8 Voucher. The centralized waiting list opened on January 6, 2003 and will remain open and accept applications indefinitely.

Applicants submit one application to the centralized waiting list system, operated by AffordableHousing.com, and their application is automatically added to the waiting list for all 103 participating PHAs. Each participating PHA selects participants to their Section 8 Voucher program off of the centralized waiting list in accordance with their local policy.

We are happy to announce our new partnership with AffordableHousing.com!

Starting on July 1, 2019 the Massachusetts Centralized Section 8 Waiting List will now be operated through the new AffordableHousing.com waiting list system.

Income Requirements

Already Applied?

Do you already have a waiting list application?
Update Application

Participating Housing Agencies

Frequently Asked Questions

    • The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is the federal government's major program for assisting low-income families, elderly and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private housing market. Housing assistance, based on household income, is provided on behalf of the family (or individual) to a landlord/property owner. Voucher program participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments in the private housing market, within an affordable range based on bedroom size. Once a unit is selected and approved by the housing agency, the tenant pays a portion of the rent based on a percentage (typically 30%) of their household adjusted income and the remaining rent is paid by the housing agency.

    • To apply for a Section 8 Voucher your gross family income must be below the maximum total income limit based family size. In general, a family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area (Fair Market Rent Area) in which the family chooses to live. Median income levels are published by HUD and vary by location so you may be eligible at one PHA but not at another.

      Eligibility is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. Eligibility for a housing voucher is verified by a housing agency, typically when you reach the top of a waiting list.

    • To apply, create a free account on www.AffordableHousing.com, then search for open waiting lists. Any waiting list operated through our website will allow you to apply directly online. For other open waiting lists listed on our website, you may need to contact the housing provider directly to apply. Once you fill out an application on www.AffordableHousing.com you can use that same application to apply to other open waiting lists.

    • Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to HUD and the local housing agencies, long waiting periods are common. Housing agencies may establish local preferences for selecting applicants from its waiting list in order to prioritize the most at risk families such as the homeless, victims of domestic violence and natural disasters or other groups such as local residents and veterans. Families who qualify for any local preferences move ahead of other families on the waiting list who do not qualify for any preference. Each PHA has the discretion to establish local preferences to reflect the housing needs and priorities of its particular community. The PHA may also limit the number of applicants that may qualify for any local preference.

    • It’s important to keep your application up-to-date. Applicants should update their application anytime there is a change in family composition, address, phone, email, income or waiting list preferences. If a housing agency is not able to reach you, your application may be removed from the waiting list.

      To make changes to your application, log into your account on www.AffordableHousing.com and update changes to your application. Updating once will update your application on all waiting lists you’ve applied to through www.AffordableHousing.com.

    • Due to the high demand for housing assistance, waiting lists are generally very long and could take years for an application to come to the top of the list. Each PHA may give an estimated wait time and/or actual placement on the list at their own discretion, and will vary depending on any waiting list preferences that a housing agency may have.

    • While you are waiting to reach the top of a waiting list, you can search for other open waiting lists on www.AffordableHousing.com and sign up to receive alerts when a waiting list opens. We list open waiting lists on a wide range of affordable housing from Section 8 Vouchers and Public Housing to tax-credit housing and other affordable housing options. You may also search our nationwide database of open below-market rental units available now.

    • It is important to check on the status of your application from time-to-time to assure that it is still active on the waiting list(s). Inactive application may be removed from a waiting list by a housing agency.

      To check the status of your application, log into your account on www.AffordableHousing.com and view your application status for all waiting lists you applied to through our website. If you were removed from a waiting list, you may be able to re-apply instantly online.

    • If your application was removed from a waiting list you may be able to re-apply directly online. If you want more information on your removal please contact the housing agency that removed your application from their waiting list. Please note, each housing agency may have varying policies on appealing a removal from the waiting list.

Have any more questions? Call 866-466-7328