Rental Assistance Programs:
Information for Landlords

Designed to help low-income households afford safe, decent rental housing, HAPHousing’s state and federally funded rental assistance programs distribute more than $33 million in rental subsidies through over 2,000 local landlords each year.


This money provides tenants with stable housing while also giving additional stability and predictability to landlords and their business.

In most programs, participating households must find housing that meets program requirements on the private rental market. Assisted units are regularly inspected to insure that they meet program standards for safety. Written agreements are signed between the owner, tenant and agency outlining their respective rights and responsibilities. Program participants pay a share of the rent based on their household income, and HAPHousing pays the rental assistance amount directly to the landlord each month.

Those selected for the program receive counseling on program requirements, tenant rights and responsibilities, fair housing, housing search and negotiating with landlords. Landlords are provided with detailed information about the program and receive monthly checks directly from the agency. Housing counselors assist both tenant and landlord throughout program participation.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)

HAPHousing provides Section 8 mobile vouchers to more than 3,400 low-income families throughout Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties under a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development that uses funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, and the rent must be reasonable in comparison to rents for similar, non assisted units in the same neighborhood or community. Rental assistance is paid directly to the landlord; the amount is determined based on the family’s income. The family pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the Section 8 rental assistance.

Rental Assistance for Housing Rehabilitation

The Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Program (Mod Rehab) is a HUD-funded rental assistance program that provides project-based assistance to eligible tenants living in units under contract with the program. The program was established to provide affordable housing resources and improve the housing stock by requiring that the property owner complete a specified level of building rehabilitation before entering into a Moderate Rehabilitation Housing Assistance Payments Contract for the rehabilitated units. As an incentive, owners could receive rents up to 20% higher than the HUD Fair Market Rents based on a formula that considered the debt service, amenities, management and maintenance costs, etc. With the exception of the Stewart B. McKinney Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program for Homeless Individuals (McKinney Mod rehab SRO), there has been no new allocation of Mod Rehab funding since 1989. Congress has authorized one-year renewals of expiring HAPHousing contracts in each of the years since the first expirations began in 1996.

Project-based Section 8 Rental Assistance

Some Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers are used to provide long-term, “project-based” affordable housing. The rental assistance is tied to a specific unit for the term of a Housing Assistance Payments contract. This assistance can be used for newly constructed, rehabilitated, or existing units and is often used with other affordable housing development programs to help ensure that the housing produced is available to very low-income households. Some is used for projects designed to serve those with special needs.

Let's Talk Housing Newsletter for Rental Assistance Landlords, click here for the most recent edition.