Page Reviewed / Updated – July 19, 2023

Program Description

Massachusetts’ Supportive Senior Housing Initiative provides an assisted living level of care to elderly residents living in state-aided elderly public housing. This program allows low-income seniors with moderate care needs to age-in-place instead of being forced into Medicaid-funded nursing homes prematurely.

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). Others are required to pay for the services on a sliding scale based on their income. 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 publicly supported housing development in one of these communities: 

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

General Requirements

To be eligible for assistance under the Supportive Senior Housing Initiative, individuals must:

  • Be eligible for state-supported public housing for the elderly or disabled.
  • Be at least 60 years of age or disabled.

Financial Requirements

Applicants must have an annual income no greater than 80% of their area’s median income. The median income changes by county or town throughout the state. For 2023, 80% of the state of Massachusetts’ median income for a one-person household ranges from approximately $55,800 to $82,950 a year, and $63,800 to $94,800 a year for a two-person household, depending on location.

The value of one’s assets is not considered a 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
  • Reminders to take medications
  • Activities with other residents
  • Meals

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 fee:

  • Personal care services, such as help bathing, grooming and dressing
  • Laundry
  • Housecleaning 
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Transportation

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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 and contact information for each local housing authority is available here. Some communities may have waiting lists.

For more information, contact the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities at 617-573-1150. Limited information can also be found here