This booklet contains useful information about resources within the community for apartment hunting, shelters, food pantries and services.
Our Housing Programs
Public housing aims to provide safe and comfortable rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Public housing includes apartments owned and managed by public housing authorities. Public housing ranges from scattered single family houses to high-rise apartments. Essentially, public housing is low-rent housing for eligible families, the elderly, and people with disabilities who meet the income guidelines and eligibility qualifications. Public housing is limited to low-income families and individuals, whose adjusted incomes are at or below 80% of median income in the community.
Public housing residents pay between 27% - 32% of their total income toward rent. Many factors are used to determine if someone is eligible for public housing or not. An applicant’s income, criminal history, past rental history, eviction records, ability to pay rent and maintain a clean and healthy home are all taken into consideration. The Authority may deny admission to any applicant whose habits and practices may be expected to have a detrimental effect on other tenants or on the project's environment, however, reasonable accommodations are available if a poor rental history is directly related to the applicant’s disabling condition. Applicants found either ineligible or unqualified have the right to appeal such a decision.
Persons who are at least 60 years of age are considered elderly. Non-elderly low income persons with one or more physical or mental impairments may be found eligible if the impairment is considered to be long and of a continued duration; and if the private market is unavailable to provide the applicant with the necessary special architectural design features and forces him or her to live in decadent, substandard housing and/or pay excessive rents.
How to Apply for Public Housing
Applications for public housing can be obtained at the administrative office at 100 Main Street, Leominster. You may download the application from the link below, but you must mail or bring the completed application physically to the office. In addition, you can complete and submit the application online by using this link: https://publichousingapplication.ocd.state.ma.us
If you are disabled and need some assistance in completing applications for housing, or need some other accommodations in the application process, please tell us.
Standard Application for Public Housing:
Common Housing Application for Massachusetts Public Housing (CHAMP)
Checking the Status of Your Application
The waiting time to begin the screening or final eligibility process varies from 10 weeks to over five years from your date of application, depending on the number of bedrooms and type of unit your household requires, your priority and preference points, and the number of units at the communities you have selected. When requesting status information, it must be in writing which includes your full name, address, birthdate, phone number and last four digits of your social security number and you will need to produce picture identification. If you are mailing your status request please include a copy of your picture identification. It is impossible to identify what number families rank on the waiting lists as this number may vary daily. Therefore, we may only provide a rough estimate of when a family might be selected for the final eligibility screening process.
If you applied online via CHAMP, you can check your status by logging into your account with CHAMP listed here:https://publichousingapplication.ocd.state.ma.us
Updating Your Application
You are required to inform housing authority in writing of any change that may affect the status of your application. Changes can include
- Telephone number
- Household composition
- Section 8/Leased Housing priority and/or preferences
- Public Housing priority and/or preferences
- Reasonable Accommodation needs
Submit any changes by mail or in person to FHA/LHA Housing 100 Main Street, Leominster, MA 01453. Include your client number or Social Security number to ensure the correct file record is updated. The main office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If an applicant is determined not eligible for the claimed priority, preference or housing, the applicant has the right to file an appeal. For more information on filing an appeal, applicants may contact the main office (978) 537-5300.
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program:
The Leominster Housing Authority administers the federally funded (HUD) Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher Program which provides housing assistance to low-income renters and homeowners. Participants in this program rent private apartments in the community and receive financial assistance from the Voucher Program to pay a portion of the rent. They may have to pay for some utilities. Citizenship status applies.
How to Apply for the Section 8 Voucher Program
Applications and information about eligibility guidelines and waiting lists may be obtained from the main administrative office located at 100 Main Street, Suite 1, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453. If you are disabled and need some assistance in completing applications for housing, or need some other accommodations in the application process, please tell us. Rent is calculated at 30-40% of monthly income for the Section 8 Voucher Program. Annual income is the sum of all income including wages, Social Security, pensions, interest and dividend payments, etc. Deductions such as medical and childcare expenses may be allowed.
Applications may also be downloaded from the link below. However, completed Section 8 applications must be returned to the Leased Housing Department located at 100 Main Street, Suite 1, Leominster, MA 01453.
Massachusetts recently issued a new application. If you recently applied, then you will need to complete a new application.
Rental Listing Information
GoSection8.com is the largest rental-listing service for the Section 8 housing market. They service families, landlords and public-housing agencies across the United States. They provide free information about current housing options under HUD’s Section 8 Housing Voucher (Section 8) Program in every market in the country.
A reasonable accommodation is a change or waiver to policies, practices, procedures or services to allow persons with disabilities equal access and opportunity for all North Central Massachusetts Housing Authorities programs. A reasonable accommodation request can only be denied if it causes an undue administrative and financial burden or changes the fundamental nature of the housing authority or its programs. Reasonable accommodation requests can be made by persons with disabilities.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):
A federal law that went into effect in 2006 protects individuals who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The name of the law is the Violence against Women Act, or “VAWA.” The following notice explains your obligations under VAWA.