Main Office Number: 978-342-5222
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Fax Phone Number: 978-343-4148

Main Office Business Hours:

Monday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm


Public Housing Applicants

Public Housing

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.

Click Here for eligibility income limits for public housing
Click Here for definitions and eligibility information for State Public Housing programs

How to Apply for Public Housing

Applications for public housing can be obtained at the FHA main office at 50 Day Street, Fitchburg. You may download the application from the link below, but you must mail or bring the completed application physically to the office. 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.

Public Housing Applications

You can now apply online directly through the Department of Housing and Development website here

Click Here to print out a paper copy or to view the CHAMP Stated Aided Public Housing application
Click Here to print out a paper copy or to view the CHAMP State Aided Public Housing application Spanish

Other Forms for Public Housing Applicants

Click Here for Verification of Handicapped Status for State-Aided Elderly/Handicapped Housing
Click Here for Instructions for Emergency Applications
Click Here for Checklist of Required Verification Documents for Housing Situation Emergency Priority Status
Click Here for Verification of Severe Medical Condition [needed only if you claim this priority for emergency housing]
Click Here for the Housing Search form [needed only for emergency housing applicants]
Click Here
for other public housing forms and translated forms

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, phone number and last four digits of your social security number and you will need to produce a 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.

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

  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Household composition
  • Section 8/Leased Housing priority and/or preferences
  • Public Housing priority and/or preferences
  • Reasonable Accommodation needs

Appeal Rights

If an applicant is determined not eligible for the claimed priority, preference or housing, the applicant has the right to file an appeal.

Customer Service

The FHA wants your feedback on our service, if you have an experience you would like to share click the link below to fill out a short survey.

Customer Service Survey