How Do I Apply For BHA Housing?

Application Process

BHA waiting lists are online!  There are 2 seperate portals to use.  One for BHA State Public Housing and another for all other BHA Administered Programs (federal and city).  

Before you apply, review the Eligibility Criteria below.

Apply for available BHA Federal and City Funded Housing Programs. Click HERE
Apply for BHA State Public Housing. Click HERE

Already an Applicant?  See these instructions to register or access the BHA portal.    

Assistance with Application: If you require assistance with the application process, please call the Status Information Line at (617) 988-3400, Monday through Wednesday from 11am to 2pm.  You may also visit to the Boston Housing Authority Central Office located at 56 Chauncy Street, Boston, MA 02111 (Downtown Crossing) which is open Monday through Friday from 9am-4pm. Translation Services: Those needing translation services to conduct BHA business should continue to call the BHA's Language Line at 617-988-4001. 

Eligibility Criteria

Annual  Income Limits
# of Persons in Family 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Housing Choice Voucher $47,000 $53,700 $60,400 $67,100 $72,500 $77,850 $83,250 $88,600
Public Housing $70,750 $80,850 $90,950 $101,050 $109,150 $117,250 $125,350 $133,400

Priorities and Preferences 

The BHA prioritizes applications by housing circumstances. Applicants that fall into the following categories are Priority 1:
Displaced or facing imminent displacement due to:
Government Action, Natural Disaster, Domestic Violence, Victim of a Hate Crime, Fear of Reprisal/Witness Protection, Court Ordered No-Fault Eviction, Cost Burdened in Boston, Inaccessibility to the Unit, and Graduates of Project Based Housing and no longer in need of supportive services. 

Only Priority 1 Applicants may apply for Non-Elderly Housing Choice Voucher Programs (Section 8). 

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Background screening: Background check for criminal history, eviction records, ability to pay rent on time and maintain a clean and healthy home. This will be verified by current and previous landlords and neighbor references.

  • Family composition: Households are assigned a specific number of bedrooms based on family size, usually 1-2 people per bedroom. You can only apply for bedroom sizes that you are eligible for.  Learn more about occupancy limits.

  • Federally subsidized programs require that at lease on family member has is a U.S. citizen, or has eligible non-citizen status. Read the detailed guidelines.

  • Elderly/Disabled housing: The head or co-head of the household must be 60 years of age for State programs or older or 62 years of age or older for federal programs; or disabled as defined by law.

  • Priority One status:  For most Leased Housing/Section 8 programs applicants must be qualified as Priority One status.

What Do I Need to Apply?

  • Your email address.

  • Your mailing address including the correct zip code.

  • Your estimated family annual income for all members of your applicant household.

  • Social Security or Alien Registration numbers for all members of your household.

  • Dates of birth for all members of your household. 

Are you Ready to Apply?

Apply for available BHA Federal and City Funded Housing Programs. Click HERE
Apply for BHA State Public Housing. Click HERE

What to Expect After You Apply

The waiting time for housing can vary by waiting list and can be over ten 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 that become available at the communities you have selected. A community's waiting list may range from 1,200 to 13,000 applicants.

Applicants may check their application status by calling the Status Information Line at (617) 988-3400, Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Updating Your Application

You are required to inform BHA in writing of any change that may affect the status of your application. You should make these changes by logging into the web portal at

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