The CHAMP is the Common Housing Application for Massachusetts Public Housing. It is used to apply for site-based, state-funded housing, including both family housing and housing for the elderly/disabled.
A person with a disability can count as a family of one, and apply for a one bedroom unit in family housing in communities that have one bedroom family units. That same person could apply for a two bedroom unit if they need a live in aide. Bear in mind, the aide cannot be a close family member, or the income and assets of the aide will be considered in calculating both eligibility and rent amount.
Elderly/disabled housing reserves 13.5% of its units for people with disabilities ages 22-59. It is generally not a good fit for someone who needs a live in aide, as almost all units are one bedroom.
As of July 2020, the CHAMP application also includes a section where someone can apply for a portable Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP) voucher. This voucher is offered by 21 housing authorities in Massachusetts. It is only for people with disabilities ages 22-59.
While a person can apply for housing in any of the housing authorities that use the CHAMP, it is worth noting these housing authorities all use local preference. That means a resident of that community will have priority over a non-resident in receiving a unit or voucher. Resident priority usually extends to people who work (or volunteer) in a community even if they don’t live there. As a result, it generally makes sense to only apply for units in a community where you live, work, or volunteer. (If you live in a community without a housing authority, you should apply to a nearby community.) The exception to this rule of thumb is the AHVP portion of the application. In general, a person with a disability should apply to all housing authorities that offer AHVP vouchers. While it will take them longer than a resident, they may still get a voucher.
Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to apply to the CHAMP.
(Please note that nothing on this website is intended as legal advice, there is no guarantee the information provided is accurate, and using the information provided does not guarantee one will receive a housing voucher. For a complete legal disclaimer, please click here.)