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Massachusetts Law About Public Housing

Best Bet

Legal Tactics : finding public and subsidized housing. Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, 3d ed., 2009. Offers help with the nuts and bolts of government-funded housing programs in Massachusetts. The book is also available for loan at our 17 locations.

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.23B, s.25, s. 26, and s.27 Department of Housing and Community Development

MGL c.121B Housing and Urban Renewal

Massachusetts Regulations

760 CMR Department of Housing and Community Development

Selected Case Law

Commonwealth v. Nelson, 74 Mass. App. Ct. 629 (2009). A Boston Municipal Court judge erred in finding the criminal defendant guilty of trespassing, where the defendant was found to be passing through the halls of Boston Housing Authority property in order to reach a tenant's apartment at the tenant's invitation, and there was no evidence that the defendant had lingered or loitered in the hall.

Federal Laws

42 USC 1401-1440 Low Income Housing

42 USC 13663 Ineligibility of Dangerous Sex Offenders for Admission to Public Housing

Federal Regulations

24 CFR 5 HUD Program Requirements and Waivers

24 CFR 247 Evictions from subsidized and HUD housing

24 CFR 800-999 Section 8 and Other Housing

Other Web Sources

Applying for Emergency Assistance Shelter: A guide for families, Mass. Law Reform Institute and Rosie's Place, June 2014. Also available in Spanish. New! "Emergency Assistance is the shelter system for families in Massachusetts..." Pregnant
women and families with children are eligible." There are several more requirements to be eligible. The guide explains these requirements and how to apply for shelter.

Creating a Memorandum of Understanding, Mass. Legal Help. "Agreements called "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) can be powerful tools for tenant groups to negotiate how to work with the housing authority on issues of concern. This booklet explains the law, what steps to take to create an MOU, and includes a sample MOU."

HomeBASE is a flexible financial household assistance resource that is available to families who are eligible for the state’s Emergency Assistance (EA) Program. Up to $4,000 of Household Assistance can be used to help you and your family find your own apartment, co-house by living with someone else and sharing household costs, pay for moving expenses to another state or location in-state and for other costs, such as child care to help with securing or maintaining employment or job training.

Housing Choice Voucher Program Administrative Plan, Mass. Dept. of Housing & Community Development, 2012. This 600+ page book outlines policies and procedures for Section 8 tenant-based programs, including topics such as fair housing, eligibility, discrimination, etc.

Housing Search Guide for People with Disabilities in Massachusetts: from Chapa.org: A guide for disabled renters in Massachusetts, providing step-by-step assistance for your search.

Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook, US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. 235-page guide to public housing covers civil rights and nondiscrimination requirements, eligibility for admission, waiting list administration, applicant selection criteria, occupancy guidelines, processing applications, verification standards, tenant selection and assignment plan, leasing requirements, income and program rents, transfers, annual reexamination of income and family circumstances, interim rent adjustments, utilities, community service and self-sufficiency, pet policies, general public housing lease requirements, grievance procedure, and domestic violence. Also includes links to appendices.

Rent in Public Housing, Mass. Legal Help. "This booklet will give you answers to questions about how rents are set in both state and federal public housing in Massachusetts."

Transfers in Public Housing, Mass. Legal Help. "A booklet for tenants in Mass. about how to request a transfer to another apartment and what to do if a housing authority requires you transfer."

Understanding Your Lease in Public Housing, Mass. Legal Help. "A handbook for tenants in Mass. about leases, including information about guests, pet policies, and how to negotiate better leases."

Using Your Public Housing Grievance Process, Mass. Legal Help. "A booklet for tenants in Mass. about the grievance process, including worksheets to help you prepare for a grievance hearing."