Brookline Housing Authority
90 Longwood Avenue
Brookline, Norfolk County, MA

617-277-2022 http://www.brooklinehousing.org/

Section 8 Waiting List Status: Open Indefinitely

The Massachusetts Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Centralized Waiting List (MS8HCVCWL) manages a single waiting list for 93 housing authorities in Massachusetts. This waiting list is currently open. The waiting list opened in January 2003, and is open indefinitely.


There are four ways to apply
  1. Fill out the online application online here
  2. Download and print the online application. There are applications available in seven different languages: EnglishChineseHaitian CreolePortugueseRussianSpanishVietnamese.
  3. Contact your respective housing authority to have an application mailed to you. Click this link to find your local housing authority's contact information.
  4. Applicants with disabilities who require reasonable accommodation can call any housing authority. Contact information for each housing authority has been provided above.
Please click this link to read the MS8HCVCWL preferences.

Once the application has been completed, mail or deliver it in person to your local housing authority.

Please note: Once the application has been submitted, it will be included on the centralized waiting list, and will be under consideration for every participating housing authority. Because of this, there is no need to apply to multiple participating housing authorities, and only one application will be accepted. 

For more information, please call the MS8HCVCWL at 1-877-868-0400.

Public Housing Waiting List Statuses

Family Senior Other
OpenOpenNot Applicable

The Brookline Housing Authority (BHA) is currently accepting Public Housing waiting list applications for families and senior/disabled individuals.


Brookline, MA is 5 miles southwest of Boston, MA.

Please note: The 2 and 3-bedroom family waiting lists are currently open, from July 16, 2015 at 9:00 am, until August 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm EDT. The senior/disabled waiting list, and 4 and 5-bedroom family waiting lists are currently open indefinitely. The 1-bedroom family waiting list is currently closed.

The BHA offers two public housing communities with 497 units for families and senior/disabled individuals.

There are two ways to apply for either waiting list:
1. Download the application here, then print and complete.
2. Visit the BHA office to pick up an application, located at 90 Longwood Ave., Suite 1, Brookline, MA 02446, from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Once the application has been completed, it can be mailed or hand delivered to the address listed above. 

No documents are needed at this time.

The BHA does have a preference point system that may improve your spot on the waiting list: displaced by natural disaster, displaced by public action, no fault eviction, fleeing domestic violence, displaced by code enforcement, severe medical emergency, veteran, or live and/or work in Brookline.

For more information, visit the BHA website here, or call the BHA at (617) 277-1885 during normal office hours.

Resident Characteristics
as of May 31, 2015

Brookline Housing Authority operates 499 affordable units across its public housing portfolio.

Bedroom Sizes of Public Housing Units

The bedroom sizes of Brookline Housing Authority public housing units range from 1 bedroom apartments to 4 bedroom apartments. The housing authority’s public housing inventory includes: 86% 1 bedroom apartments, 7% 2 bedroom apartments, 6% 3 bedroom apartments and 2% 4 bedroom apartments.

Vacancies in Public Housing Portfolio

As of Brookline Housing Authority’s most recent Resident Characteristics Report (May 31, 2015), the 16-month average number of units occupied was 473 out of a total 499 rental units. This represents a 16-month average vacany rate of 5.21%.

Family Type

Of the 358 households who reported head of household data in the housing authority’s most recent RCR report, 234 (65.36%) were elderly, 124 (34.64%) were non-elderly, 338 (94.41%) were disabled, 25 (6.98%) contained children and 26 (7.26%) were headed by a female.

Tenant Contributions to Rent

Residents of public housing pay rent based on their income. The rent contribution of the tenant is called the Total Tenant Payment (TTP). The TTP is generally 30% of a residents income with a $25 (National minimum) to $50 (some PHA’s) minimum rent. Based on the information in the most recent Resident Characteristics Report (May 31, 2015) the minimum rent in Brookline Housing Authority's public housing developments is $50.

The average tenant rent contribution for Brookline Housing Authority’s public housing developments is $362.

The average tenant contribution for elderly residents residing in all properties across the housing authority’s public housing portfolio is $427. The average rent payment for disabled residents is $358. The average TTP for non-elderly, non-disabled renters in the housing authority’s public housing units is $717. Households headed by females had a total tenant payment of $503.

Race and Ethnicity

The HUD Resident Characteristics Report provides updated Head of Household race and ethnicity data at the housing authority and property level. Across all properties in the Brookline Housing Authority portfolio, 15% of households identified as Black, 70% identified as White, and 8% identified as Hispanic or Latino.

Income of Public Housing Residents

HUD divides household income into four categories: Extremely Low Income (ELI) for households earning less than 30% of the median, Very Low Income (VLI) for households earning between 30% and 50% of the median, Low Income (LI) for households earning between 50% and 80% of the median and Above Low Income for households earning 81% of the median and over.

Of the public housing residents residing in Brookline Housing Authority properties, 380 were Extremely Low Income, 53 were Very Low Income, 16 were Low Income and 14 were Above Low Income.

The average annual income of public housing residents living in Brookline Housing Authority properties is $15,748. Of all public housing residents, 0% have no income and 14% earn more than $25,000 while 86% have incomes that fall between $0 and $25,000.

The HUD RCR data includes source of income information as well. The data includes five categories of family income: wage income, welfare income, SSI/SS/Pension income, other income and no income. Some families receive income in multiple categories.

Among families residing in Brookline Housing Authority public housing 17% have wage income, 4% have welfare income, 85% have SSI/SS/Pension income, 8% have other income and 1% have no income.

Household Information of Public Housing Residents

As of the last HUD RCR report (May 31, 2015), there were a total of 473 households containing 630 total persons residing in the housing authority’s public housing properties. The average household size across all properties in the housing authority’s public housing portfolio was 1.3.

Across all units operated by the housing authority, 6.98% of households included children. Across all household members in Brookline Housing Authority public houins units 1.9% are aged zero to five and 8.6% are aged 6 to 17.

55.9% of all residents across the housing authority were age 62 or older and are considered seniors while 33.7% of all residents were aged 18 to 61.

Length of Stay at Public Housing Properties

The HUD RCR report includes length of stay data for Brookline Housing Authority public housing communities. 11.63% of all families residing in public housing have lived there for less than 1 year, 6.98% have lived in public housing for 1 to 2 years while 81.39% have lived in public housing for more than 2 years.

Assisted Unit Distribution What is Housing Assistance?

The Brookline Housing Authority administers both a public housing and Section 8 housing voucher program. The housing authority owns and manages 2 projects which contain 497 affordable rental units. It also administers 619 Section 8 housing vouchers.

According to HUD, Brookline Housing Authority is determined to be a Medium Low public housing authority, meaning it manages between 250 - 499 public housing units. Also according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the housing authority is designated as Medium High, meaning it administers 500 - 1,249 Section 8 vouchers.

Comparing the housing assistance distribution of Brookline Housing Authority between Public Housing Units (45%) and Section 8 Housing Vouchers (55%) to that of all housing authorities in Massachusetts, Brookline Housing Authority has a larger proportion of public housing units than the average housing authority. The housing authority’s proportion of Section 8 vouchers under management is larger than the average housing authority in Massachusetts.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (hud.gov, 2014)

SEMAP Performance What are SEMAP Scores?

Each year HUD reviews and scores the housing authority’s Section 8 program management based on 14 different criteria. This score is a reflection of how well the housing authority manages the Section 8 waiting list, the physical quality of housing assisted with Section 8 and the financial management of the program.

From 2001 to 2009, Brookline Housing Authority scored an average of 88 points as of the last set of publicly available data. The housing authority had a high score of 97 in 2007 and a low score of 67 in 2001. The average SEMAP Score for Housing Authorities in Massachusetts is 76.35.

Brookline Housing Authority has an average score that is more than the average Massachusetts housing authority. Higher SEMAP scores indicate more effective financial management, a smoother waiting list process and higher quality physical conditions at assisted properties.

Source President's Open Government Directive (hud.gov/offices/pih/, 2012)

Latest Public Housing Inspection Scores What are REAC Scores?

Every public housing project is inspected every one to three years by HUD.

As of the last set of publicly available data, Brookline Housing Authority manages one rental property which has an inspection score of 86. To be a passing score, a public housing property must have a score of 60 or more. As of the last set of publicly available data, Morse Apartments has a passing score.

Source United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (data.gov, 2014)

Housing Authority Annual and 5 Year Plans

Public housing agencies, also called public housing authorities, which receive funding from HUD, are required to submit and receive approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development of both an Annual Plan and a 5 Year Plan. These plans establish each housing authority’s policies, strategies, programs and operations for meeting the housing needs of persons within their target area.

The housing authority plans include specific details about the cost of renovations to real estate (also known as capital improvements), changes to Section 8 HCV policies, planned redevelopment of public housing projects and other major administrative changes.

Following are the HUD-approved public housing agency plans for Brookline Housing Authority.

Year Date Approved Plan PDF Document
2012 8/1/12 Plan
2011 8/8/11 Plan
2010 8/27/10 Plan
2009 12/9/09 Plan
2008 9/24/08 Plan
2007 11/21/07 Plan
2006 12/20/06 Plan
2005 2/22/06 Plan
2004 12/28/04 Plan
2003 6/10/04 Plan
2002 11/29/02 Plan
2001 7/3/02 Plan
2000 4/13/01 Plan
2000 4/13/01 Plan