Massachusetts Supportive Housing Initiative Program: Assistive Housing for Seniors

Program Description

Among assistance programs for the elderly, the Massachusetts Supportive Senior Housing Initiative Program is nearly unique in its design. The program provides assisted living level of care to elderly residents living in publicly supported housing. Instead of low income seniors with moderate care needs being forced into Medicaid-funded nursing homes prematurely, the state brings assisted living level care to public housing.

Two levels of support are provided through this program. All elderly residents in need receive certain assistance free of charge (included with their rent). A higher level of assistance is offered, which some residents receive free of charge (funded by other public sources), and others pay for, on a sliding scale based on their income. Details below. Similar to assisted living facilities, supervision and assistance is available around the clock.

To participate in this program, the person in need of care must currently reside in or move into a publically supported housing development in one of these communities:

Amesbury
Arlington
Billerica
Boston
Brockton
Brookline
Cambridge
Chelmsford
Chelsea
Chicopee
Dartmouth
Everett
Fall River

Fitchburg
Franklin County Regional
Gardner
Gloucester
Greenfield
Leominster
Lynn
Malden
Marlborough
Melrose
Methuen
Needham
New Bedford

Peabody
Pittsfield
Plymouth
Quincy
Revere
Salem
Saugus
Sharon
Somerville
Spencer
Taunton
Watertown
Westfield

The Supportive Senior Housing Initiative falls under the Massachusetts Supportive Housing Initiative program, which is a collaborative effort between The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

 

Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible for assistance under this program, the individual must be eligible for publicly supported housing for the elderly.

  • Applicants must be at least 60 years of age.
  • Applicants must have an annual income no greater than 80% of their area's median income. As of 2017, 80% of the state of Massachusetts’ median income is $54,850. However, bear in mind, the median income by county or town changes dramatically throughout the state. This means depending on the area in which one resides, the median income could be much higher or lower than the figure given above.  One can view median income by MA city or county here.

The value of one's assets is not considered an factor for admittance into this program.

 

Benefits and Services

In addition to the rent assistance provided to public housing residents, the Senior Supportive Housing Initiative offers the following services free of charge to all residents:

  • Coordination of Needed Services
  • Case Management
  • 24-hour Supervision, as needed. (There is a person on call who lives on the premises)
  • Reminders to Take Medications
  • Activities With Other Residents
  • Meals (A minimum of one meal per day)

A higher level of services is available, but is only free based on meeting eligibility requirements determined by necessity and income. If eligibility requirements are not met, then these services are offered on a sliding scale:

  • Personal Care Services (Such as help bathing, grooming and dressing)
  • Laundry
  • Housecleaning 
  • Shopping for Groceries
  • Transportation

 

How to Apply / Learn More

The application process is managed at the community level. Those wishing to apply for the Supportive Senior Housing Initiative program should reach out to their local housing authority in the community in which services are being sought. Community locations are listed above and contact information for each local housing authority is available here. Some communities may have waiting lists for oversubscribed services.

For more information contact the Bureau of Housing Management at 617-573-1150.

Free assistance is available to help MA residents find affordable residential care. Get help here