About Cambridge Housing Authority

The Cambridge Housing Authority is a Section 8 and Public Housing Public Housing Agency in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Cambridge Housing Authority serves Cambridge.

Cambridge Housing Authority Waiting Lists

Cambridge, Massachusetts Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List: Open Indefinitely

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list is currently open. This waiting list opened on October 3, 2016 at 10:00 am ET, and is open indefinitely.

Cambridge, MA is about 3 miles west of Boston, MA.

To apply, complete the online pre-application here.

The following documentation is required of all members of the household: Social Security Number, name, date of birth, income.

Income eligibility can be found in the middle of this page here.

This waiting list has the following preferences: Cambridge resident, Cambridge shelter or transitional facility, employed in Cambridge, veteran. Further explanation of each preference can be found here.

Applicants who apply by October 31, 2016 will be placed on the waiting list by random lottery, after sorting preferences.

Applicants who apply after October 31, 2016 will be placed on the waiting list by date and time the pre-application is received, after sorting preferences.

For more information, read the CHA public notice, visit the CHA website, or call the office at (617) 864-3020.

Last Updated on 07/06/2017.

Standard Section 8 PBV Waiting List Project Based Voucher Waiting List: Open Indefinitely

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Standard Section 8 Project-Based Voucher waiting list is currently open. This waiting list opened on October 3, 2016 at 10:00 am ET, and is open indefinitely.

To apply, complete the online pre-application here.

The following documentation is required of all members of the household: Social Security Number, name, date of birth, income.

Income eligibility can be found in the middle of this page here.

This waiting list has the following preferences: Cambridge resident, Cambridge shelter or transitional facility, employed in Cambridge, veteran. Further explanation of each preference can be found here.

Applicants who apply by October 31, 2016 will be placed on the waiting list by random lottery, after sorting preferences.

Applicants who apply after October 31, 2016 will be placed on the waiting list by date and time the pre-application is received, after sorting preferences.

For more information, read the CHA public notice, visit the CHA website, or call the office at (617) 864-3020.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This is NOT the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Section 8 Project-Based Voucher tenants are required to live in a specific apartment community or scattered site. After one year of occupancy, a Project-Based Voucher tenant may request to be placed on a waiting list to receive the next available Housing Choice Voucher or similar tenant-based rental assistance.

Last Updated on 07/06/2017.

Single Room Occupancy Waiting List Waiting List: Open Indefinitely

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Single Room Occupancy waiting list is currently open indefinitely.

Please note: This program offers housing for individuals in congregate living, typically in a shared common space.

To apply, complete the online pre-application here.

The following documentation is required of all members of the household: Social Security Number, name, date of birth, income.

For more information, visit the CHA website, or call the office at (617) 864-3020.

Last Updated on 07/06/2017.

Elderly/Disabled Site Based Waiting List Waiting List: Open Indefinitely

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Elderly/Disabled Site Based waiting list is currently open. This waiting list opened on July 5, 2017 at 10:00 am ET, and is open indefinitely.

To apply, complete the online pre-application here.

Income eligibility and community information can be found on public notice here.

This waiting list has unconfirmed preferences that can be found on the application.

Applicants who apply by July 31, 2017 will be placed on the waiting list by random lottery, after sorting preferences.

Applicants who apply after July 31, 2017 will be placed on the waiting list by date and time the pre-application is received, after sorting preferences.

For more information, read the CHA public notice, visit the CHA website, or call the office at (617) 864-3020.

Last Updated on 07/06/2017.

Elderly/Disabled Section 8 PBV Waiting List Project Based Voucher for Senior and Disabled Waiting List: Open Indefinitely

The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) Elderly/Disabled Section 8 Project-Based Voucher waiting list is currently open. This waiting list opened on October 3, 2016 at 10:00 am ET, and is open indefinitely.

To apply, complete the online pre-application here.

The following documentation is required of all members of the household: Social Security Number, name, date of birth, income.

Income eligibility can be found in the middle of this page here.

This waiting list has the following preferences: Cambridge resident, Cambridge shelter or transitional facility, employed in Cambridge, veteran. Further explanation of each preference can be found here.

Applicants who apply by October 31, 2016 will be placed on the waiting list by random lottery, after sorting preferences.

Applicants who apply after October 31, 2016 will be placed on the waiting list by date and time the pre-application is received, after sorting preferences.

For more information, read the CHA public notice, visit the CHA website, or call the office at (617) 864-3020.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This is NOT the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Section 8 Project-Based Voucher tenants are required to live in a specific apartment community or scattered site. After one year of occupancy, a Project-Based Voucher tenant may request to be placed on a waiting list to receive the next available Housing Choice Voucher or similar tenant-based rental assistance.

Last Updated on 07/06/2017.

Public Housing Waiting List: Closed

The Cambridge Housing Authority is not accepting public housing waiting list applications at this time.

According to this news report in December 2014, the CHA expects an increase in funding and anticipates new construction and rehabilitation throughout the next five years. 

As reported by this article in July 2015, the CHA began its waiting list purge process "for the first time in years" on April 23, 2015. The result was more than 2,000 names being removed from the waiting list due to no response from the purging notice. As of July 2015, there are still more than 7,300 households currently on the waiting list after the purge. 

However, the CHA stated that persons who were taken off the waiting list after the purge can contact the office within the next six months to be placed back onto the list.

While the CHA is in the middle of a major Public Housing renovation and construction project, in which many Public Housing units are unlivable, it has made 250 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers available to households waiting on the Public Housing waiting list. As of July 9, 2015, there are still 56 Section 8 vouchers available for those on the Public Housing waiting list.

Last Updated on 07/10/2015.


About the Cambridge Housing Authority Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

As of the most recent VMS report, Cambridge Housing Authority manages 5,942 active Housing Choice Vouchers.

The following is a summary of the types of vouchers managed and the monthly costs of each:

Standard Tenant Protection Moving To Work VASH Non-Elderly Disabled
Vouchers 37 1,665 2,629 129 85
Monthly Cost Per Voucher $1,278 $1,130 $1,114 $894 $882
Monthly Cost $47,281 $1,880,778 $2,928,987 $115,264 $74,955

Household Characteristics of Voucher Holders for Cambridge Housing Authority

Waiting List and Tenancy

According to the 2016 Q4 Picture of Subsidized Households database, the housing authority's voucher program has an annual turnover of 17% having issued approximately 307 vouchers in the past year. The average voucher holder has received housing benefits for 6 years and 5 months. According to the 2016 PSH database, persons who were issued a voucher in the preceding 12 months waited an average of 18 months on the waiting list1.

Income Characteristics

According to 2016 Q4 Picture of Subsidized Households data, the average voucher household contains 1.9 persons and has a household income of $19,869 per year. 91% of households were very low income (VLI) and 71% were extremely low income (ELI). 36% of households had wages as a major source of income, 3% of households had welfare (TANF, General Assistance or Public Assistance) as their primary source of income, and 59% of households had other income (Social Security, Disability or Pension) as their major source of income.

Heads of Household Characteristics

1% of households were headed by a person 24 years old or less, 32% were headed by a person 25 to 49 years old, 24% were headed by a person 51 to 60 years old, and 43% were headed by a person 62 years old or older. In addition, 5% of households were headed by a person 85 years old or older.

27% of households included children, 6% of which had two adults in the household. 21% of households with children have a female head of household. 66% of all households were headed by a female.

62% of all voucher households were headed by minorities with 40% of all heads of households being Black and 4% being Hispanic.

Of all households participating in the Cambridge Housing Authority Housing Choice Voucher program, 25% include at least one person with a disability. 37% of households with a head of household 61 years or less were headed by a person with a disability. 45% of households headed by someone 62 or older were headed by a person with a disability.

Bedroom Size and Overhousing

53% of voucher holders reside in a home with zero or 1 bedroom, 30% with 2 bedrooms and 17% with 3 or more bedrooms. 8% of voucher recipients are considered overhoused, meaning they occupy a rental unit larger than their family size requires.

Rent, Assistance, and Utility Allowances

The average monthly tenant contribution to rent by Cambridge Housing Authority voucher holders in 2016 was $458 and the average monthly HUD expenditure per voucher holder was $1,013. The average utility allowance across all voucher recipients is $116.



1. This Picture of Subsidized Households data field is the average wait time of those who received a voucher in the preceding 12 months. Due to special voucher programs like VASH, recent waiting list purges, or waiting list preferences the average wait time can vary significantly from one year to the next and it is entirely possible many current applicants on the waiting list have been waiting for assistance for far longer.


Public Housing Operated by Cambridge Housing Authority

55 Essex St
Cambridge, Massachusetts
John F. Kennedy Apartments is a 69 unit low income housing apartment community in Cambridge.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit HOME Public Housing
100 Harvard St
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Washington Elms is a 271 unit low income housing apartment community in Cambridge.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Public Housing
11 Corcoran Ln
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Corcoran Park is a 156 unit low income housing apartment community in Cambridge.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Public Housing
131 Washington St
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Newtowne Court is a 294 unit low income housing apartment community in Cambridge.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Public Housing
50 Churchill Ave
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Daniel F Burns Apartments is a 211 unit low income housing apartment community in Cambridge.
Some or all apartments in this community are rent subsidized, which means rent is income based.
Public Housing