FAQ

Q. What is public housing?

A. Public housing aims to provide safe and comfortable rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing includes Federal and State apartments owned and managed by public housing authorities, such as the Methuen Housing Authority, and privately owned and managed apartments that are subsidized. Public housing ranges from scattered units to family developments. There are currently about 1.2 million households living in public housing units in the United States, managed by about 3,300 local housing authorities. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers state aid to local housing agencies in the State of Massachusetts. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers federal aid to local housing agencies that manage the housing for low-income residents at rents they can afford. In essence, public housing is low-rent housing for eligible families, the elderly, and people with disabilities who meet the income guidelines.

Q. What kinds of housing does the MHA have?

A. Methuen Housing Authority owns and operates 413 units of conventional state aided and federal aided public housing units in several developments throughout the city. The Methuen Housing Authority also administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, which provides rent vouchers for 558 units of housing in the private market.

Q. What is the difference between State and Federal Public Housing?

State Aided Public housing is funded through the state of Massachusetts, Department of Housing and Community Development. (DHCD) Federal Public Housing is funded through the federal government, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Q. What is Section 8 housing?

A. Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is a federal (HUD) housing program which provides housing assistance to low-income renters and homeowners. This assistance comes in the form of rental subsidies, limiting the monthly rent payment of the assistance recipient.

Q. How do I apply for MHA housing?

A. Public housing applications are available at our Administrative Office located at 24 Mystic Street and on the MHA website. Section 8 applications are available at our the Administrative office as well as on the MHA website.

Q. What are your hours of operation?

A. Methuen Housing Authority offices are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and Fridays 8 a.m. to 12:00 pm noon.

Q. How long are the waiting lists?

A. The wait time varies in years. On the public housing side, the wait for applicants can range from six months to a year or 2 years or longer. The Section 8 waiting list is a centralized list combined with 84 housing authorities in the state of Massachusetts. At present, that list includes
150,000 people, with a wait time of between 5 and 10 years.

Q. What are the priorities?

A. Priority status is only acknowledged in our state-funded developments only. Priority status is only for an applicant who has been or is imminently faced with displacement from his/her primary residence as a result of circumstances thru no fault. Priority categories are : Homeless, displacement by natural forces Homeless, displaced by pubic action Homeless, displaced by domestic violence Homeless, displaced by foreclosure (tenant only)

Q. How much rent does the MHA charge?

A. People who live in Federal Public Housing pay 30% of their household income for rent. People who live in State Public Housing pay between 27%-30% of their household income for rent. For Section 8 subsidies, rent payment is based on 30% of your income. The voucher will pay anything above 30% of your adjusted monthly income up to an established limit.

Q. How do I report fraud and/or abuse?
A. Report fraud and abuse by calling 978-682-8607 during office hours. Your identity
will be kept strictly confidential.