Worcester Housing Authority

Preferences

All of our applicant families are in need of decent, safe and affordable housing; many families are homeless, about to be homeless or are living in conditions that could possibly jeopardize their health and well-being.

All applicants are initially placed on our waiting lists in the order in which they are received. However, the WHA Board of Commissioners has voted to give certain circumstances a preference. If an applicant family requests an admissions preference, the Worcester Housing Authority will review each request and decide whether or not the applicant qualifies for an admissions preference as defined by federal and state guidelines. Combined preferences outweigh individual preferences.

Federal Public & Leased Housing Admissions Preferences

The highest preferences are given to Worcester residents (live or work in the City) and to veterans.

Preference

Reason or Cause

Documentation Required

Worcester Resident

  • Lives or works within City
  • Lease agreement
  • Utility bill
  • Pay stub
  • Letter from employer

Veterans

  • Veteran with service connected disability
  • Family of deceased veteran whose death is service connected
  • DD214
  • For deceased veteran copy of death certificate

ABL

  • Willing to participate in intensive self sufficiency program
  • Must attend an ABL info session

The following additional preferences are weighted equally.

Preference

Reason or Cause

Documentation Required

Displacement by Disaster

  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Other Natural Disaster
  • Fire Department report listing applicants name as a resident
  • Letter from the Board of Health
  • Letter from the Red Cross or other recognized disaster relief organization

Displacement by Action of Housing Owner

  • Owner sells property
  • Owner has extended family moving in
  • Owner renovation unit
  • Property foreclosed required to move
  • Letter from landlord regarding reason to vacate
  • Proof that you are a resident of the affected property such as a lease, rental agreement or rent receipts

Displaced due to Domestic Violence

  • Victim of abuse which occurred recently or is of a continuing nature
  • Police report
  • Copy of current restraining order
  • Letter from social service provider

Displaced by Hate Crimes

  • Prejudice and harassment of family member
  • Certification from law enforcement agency

Displacement to avoid Reprisals

  • Law enforcement agency requests alternative housing to avoid risk of violence against family
  • Certification from law enforcement agency

Displacement due to Inaccessibility of Unit

  • Mobility or other impairment that prohibits access to current apartment
  • Letter from clinician verifying impairment AND letter from landlord attesting that it is cost prohibitive to make unit accessible

Substandard Housing

  • Landlord's failure to provide safe and adequate shelter and endangered the health, safety and/or well being of the family
  • Letter from the Code Department stating the list of violations and verification that the items are unable to be abated

Rent Burden

  • Paying more than 50% of household income towards rent and utilities for a period of at least 90 days
  • Copy of lease agreement
  • Copies of 3 consecutive and most recent months of full rental payments
  • Verifiable documentation from all utility companies relative to most recent 90 days payments
  • Income verification of all household members

Homeless

  • Lacks fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residency
  • Primary nighttime residence that is a supervised public or private operated shelter designated to provide temporary living accommodations
  • A public or private place not designated or normally used as a regular sleeping place for humans
  • Letter from shelter, social service agency, physician or other qualified agent corroborating  homeless status.

State Public Housing Admissions Priorities and Preferences

Applicants who are willing to meet the requirements of the A Better Life Program will be considered for admission first.

Admissions Preference

Program Description

Requirements

A Better Life

  • Applicant is willing as a condition of his/her Lease, to be required to go to work or attend School 30 hours per week.
  • Community service may substitute for the work/school requirement.
  • Required to participate in case management services.
  • Must participate in an informational session, run by the WHA, explaining program details and resident requirements.

In order to be considered for priority placement on any WHA state public housing waiting list, the applicant must submit documentation to support their priority request.  Additionally, the applicant must submit a Housing Search form, which is included in the state public housing application package that substantiates the applicants search for alternative housing opportunities.

The WHA will select applicants off of its state public housing waiting lists using the following priorities which are listed below in the order of selection.

Priority

Cause(s)

Documentation Required

Priority #1 Homeless due to Displacement by Natural Forces

 

  • Fire not due to the negligence or intentional act of the applicant or household member
  • Earthquake, flood or other natural cause
  • Disaster declared or recognized under disaster relief laws
  • Fire Department report
  • Letter from a recognized disaster relief organization
  • Proof of residency of the affected property

Priorty #2 Homeless due to Displacement by Public Action (Urban Renewal)

  • Has been displaced within 3 years due to urban renewal project
  • Copy of official notification of land or property being taken by public agency involved
  • Proof of tenancy by landlord or property owner

Priority #3 Homeless, Displacement by Public Action (Type B)

  • Public Health Agency
  • Displaced due to a public health agency’s enforcement of Local or state health codes



  • Copy of the official order of displacement (Declaration of Condemnation) due to code enforcement
  • A written statement by you outlining the steps that you took to remedy the situation prior to the condemnation.  Attach letters to the landlord, board of health notices or court records.
  • Proof that you were a resident of the affected property such as a lease, rental agreement or rent receipts

Priority  #4 Emergency Case under the WHA Emergency Case Plan

 

  • Homeless and facing a significant and direct threat to life or safety
  • Substandard housing that directly and substantially endangers or impairs the health, safety or well-being of the family
  • Domestic Violence
  • Severe medical emergency
  • Documentation that applicant is homeless and living in a shelter, hotel and the reason for homelessness
  • Substandard housing verified under Priority #3
  • Written certification of medical condition
  • Documentation of abusive situation from police reports, restraining orders, court documents

Priority #5 AHVP Participant

  • Currently living in a transitional housing program
  • Proof of active participation in the Alternative Housing Voucher Program

Preference Veterans

  • Veteran with service connected disability
  • Family of deceased veteran whose death is service connected
  • DD214
  • For deceased veteran copy of death certificate

Preference  Worcester Resident

  • Lives or works within City
  • Lease agreement
  • Utility bill
  • Pay stub
  • Letter from employer

Other Admissions Preferences

Preference Veterans

  • Veteran with service connected disability
  • Family of deceased veteran whose death is service  connected
  • DD214
  • For deceased veteran copy of death certificate.

Preference Worcester Resident

  • Lives or works within the City of Worcester
  • Lease agreement
  • Utility bill
  • Pay stub
  • Letter from employer

For more information, visit our Admissions Office located at 40 Belmont Street or call us at 508-635-3300.

If you are a motivated, hard-working WHA resident living in a family development and looking to improve your own life and that of your children, we encourage you to apply. For more information, visit our A Better Life Office located at 34 Great Brook Valley Avenue, Suite 6 or call us at 508-635-3265. Click here for more details.


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