146 South Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: (508) 771-7222
FAX: (508) 778-9312
TTY: (508) 771-7292

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS PUBLIC HOUSING?
Public housing is intended to provide decent, safe, and affordable rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In its broadest definition public housing includes apartments owned and managed by public housing authorities and subsidized apartments privately owned and managed.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE BARNSTABLE HOUSING AUTHORITY?
The Barnstable Housing Authority is responsible for the management and operation of its local public housing programs and various voucher programs.
WHAT ARE PUBLIC HOUSING PROGRAMS?
Units owned and managed by the Housing Authority are available under the Public Housing Program. These apartments are intended to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
WHAT ARE LEASED HOUSING OR RENTAL VOUCHER PROGRAMS?
Leased Housing or Rental Voucher Programs (oftentimes referred to as Section 8) use vouchers to subsidize the family's rent paid to private landlords. This allows eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities the opportunity to afford private rental apartments. The BHA receives funding from the Massachusetts Dept. of Housing and Community Development for Voucher Programs which regulates the eligibility and other requirements of the specific Housing Voucher Program
WHAT KINDS OF PUBLIC HOUSING PROGRAMS ARE THERE?
There are two categories of subsidized housing programs: Public Housing Programs where the Housing Authority is the landlord and Leased Housing or Rental Voucher Programs where private individuals, companies or corporations are the landlord. Tenants pay a portion of their income for rent in 'public' housing (usually 30%); in the voucher program tenants pay a portion of the rent and the BHA subsidizes the remaining amount.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
Our housing programs are intended for low-income families and individuals. Eligibility is based upon annual income, whether you qualify as elderly, a disabled individual, or as a family and U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status. References are checked to verify whether you and your family will be good tenants. Income limits have been determined for eligibility purposes for all the programs. Please see the Income Limits. Call our Office at 508-771-7222 with any questions.
HOW DO I APPLY?
You may call (508) 771-7222 for application to be mailed, applications may be downloaded off the website, or you may pick one up at the BHA, 146 South Street, Hyannis during regular business hours.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS OF OPERATIONS?
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Any day closed due to holiday, inclement weather, or meeting will be posted outside the office door.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME WHEN I APPLY?
Please review the check list in the "Documents" area to see what applies to your needs. Please call the Tenant Selection Office at (508) 771-7222 for further information.
HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?
The application process begins with completing an application with the Housing Authority. The application must be filled out and submitted to the BHA. A representative from the Authority will process your application. If you submit the application in person BHA staff will describe to you each housing program and its requirements. Certain documents and information are required as part of the application process.
WILL I NEED TO PRODUCE ANY DOCUMENTATION?
Yes, the Housing Authority will request documentation necessary to verify the information on your application (e.g., birth certificates, tax returns, direct verification from your employer) once you are tentatively accepted for a housing unit or voucher. As part of the application process, you will be asked to sign an authorization form releasing pertinent information to the Housing Authority.
WHEN WILL I BE NOTIFIED?
We will review all information provided in your application for public housing or for voucher assistance. A decision on your eligibility will then be made. If you are eligible, we will send you written confirmation indicating that you have been placed on respective program(s) waiting list(s). Once your name is reached on the list, you will be contacted. If you are ineligible, we will send you written notification indicating the reason. You may request an informal hearing to discuss the decision.
WILL I HAVE TO SIGN A LEASE?
A client who has accepted an apartment offered in a Public Housing Program (apartments owned and managed by the BHA), will sign a lease with the Housing Authority. In addition, the client may be required to provide a security deposit. We will review the lease with the client to make certain the tenant and BHA responsibilities are understood. In the Leased Housing Voucher Programs, a lease for the unit will be signed by both the client and the private landlord.
ARE THERE ANY SELECTION PREFERENCES?
Yes, there are preferences to specific groups of families. These preferences enable the Housing Authority to direct its limited housing resources to the families with the greatest housing needs. The Housing Authority determines these preferences from the information provided during the application process.
HOW IS RENT DETERMINED?
Rent is based upon your family's gross annual income, with deductions and exclusions according to applicable regulations. Deductions and exclusions vary with different programs. Typical deduction examples include: allowances for dependents, elderly family members, disabled individuals, and medical expenses for families headed by an elderly person or a person with disabilities.
IS THERE PARKING PROVIDED AT DEVELOPMENTS?
Yes, parking is provided at all developments. Availability of parking for apartments under the Leased Housing Voucher Programs varies from unit to unit.
HOW LONG CAN I STAY IN PUBLIC HOUSING OR A VOUCHER PROGRAM?
In general, you may stay in public housing or retain your voucher as long as you comply with the lease or terms of the voucher contract and meet the income eligibility requirements of the program. You will not be required to move from public housing unless there is affordable housing available for you in the private market except for violation of terms of your lease or contract--and this only after due process.