Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)

Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)


Lowell Housing Authority administers a variety of affordable housing programs through the Office of Public Housing and the Division of Leased Housing Programs. Each of the programs are designed to provide you with housing choice subject to eligibility criteria, and availability. Learn more about your affordable housing options below before applying. If you still have questions regarding affordable housing options or eligibility criteria, we are here to assist you. For additional information, please contact the Division of Leased Housing Programs at 978-364-5359. Please read the following information carefully before applying as eligibility for each program will vary. Familiarizing yourself with the criteria for this program will assist you in completing an accurate application.

HUD is required by law to set income limits that determine the eligibility of applicants for HUD’s assisted housing programs. These income limits are published annually and are based on HUD estimates of median income for a particular area or county, adjusted for family size.  The LHA income limits for the public housing program are 80% of the median income. Income Limits | HUD USER

HUD Guidelines require the LHA to establish reasonable occupancy standards for the Public Housing Program.  The following are the occupancy standards for the LHA’s Public Housing Program.

UNIT SIZE (minimum #) PPL IN HOUSE (minimum #) PPL IN HOUSE (maximum #)
0 Bedroom 1 2
1 Bedroom 1 2
2 Bedroom 2 4
3 Bedroom 3 6
4 Bedroom 4 8
5 Bedroom 5 10

The need for public housing in Lowell exceeds the availability of funds for this purpose and a housing unit is a scarce resource which is in great demand. Given these realities, housing is made available to those most in need and reflecting the priorities of the LHA through local preferences, permitted by HUD. HUD also permits the LHA to establish other local preferences at the agency’s discretion. The following are the current preferences, and weights assigned to the preferences established by the LHA for applicant families.

# Preference Weight
1 Involuntarily displaced from a dwelling unit in the municipality of Lowell by natural disaster, by fire, by unwarranted landlord action and by government action, including capital programs of the LHA 200
2 Working head of household or working spouse, or a person 62 years old or older, or a person unable to work because of the extent of their disability 185
3 A legal resident of Lowell, or a person working in Lowell, or a person with a job offer to work in Lowell 130
4 A victim of domestic violence who has been relocated and as verified by the police  81
5 A veteran as verified by the Department of Veteran Affairs or an individual who has served in any branch of the military and remains in active status   4
Total Points: 600

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has defined Total Tenant Payment (TTP) for “rent” to include both shelter and the costs for reasonable amounts of utilities. The amount determined necessary to cover the resident’s reasonable utility costs is the utility allowance. The Lowell Housing Authority calculates this by structure type and bedroom size of the unit.

2023 – 2024 Utility Allowance Schedule

The LHA has been operating an ongoing homeownership program since 1998. The homeownership program is designed to allow Section 8 Program participants to become homeowners, and provides a preference for participants in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. The program is structured to provide residents with individualized support throughout the homebuying process, from initial interest through post-purchase counseling. Currently, there are 20 participants who are utilizing their Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) to purchase their first home. All participants must meet the following minimum requirements mandated by HUD to be eligible for the program:

  • Must be a first-time homeowner as defined by HUD
  • Family must meet a minimum annual income of $10, 300.00
  • One or more adult family members must be able to document consistent employment in the past year, with exemptions being granted to elderly and disabled participants
  • Must complete a HUD Certified Homeownership Counseling program with the cost of the program covered by LHA
  • Must have not defaulted previously on Section 8 Homeownership Assistance
  • Per the LHA Section 8 Homeownership Administrative Plan, the purchased property must be located within the City of Lowell, MA.

If you are interested in participating in the Homeownership Program, or just have questions, please feel free to contact Ken Khirv, Coordinator, Division of Leased Housing Programs at 978-364-5350.

Private landlords in the area play a major role in the success of our Leased Housing Programs. We are fortunate to lease quality units which offer an array of amenities in many locations within the city and in other locations outside of the city.


Housing Choice Voucher Lease

Landlord Login – Partner Portal

One of the convenient features of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) is the mobility of rental assistance known as “Section 8 Portability.”  The term “portability” refers to the transfer process that allows the Housing Choice Voucher holders to relocate and lease a unit that meets program requirements anywhere in the United States.  This feature enables program participants to fully exercise their housing choice and select suitable units regardless of the initial public housing authority’s jurisdiction. When voucher holders request to exercise the portability option, the LHA, in collaboration with other housing authorities, will make every effort to facilitate this mobility process and assist the participant in making a successful transfer.

To Be Eligible:

  1. Must be a HCVP participant in a public housing authority jurisdiction
  2. Must be considered in good standing
  3. Maintain no outstanding balance with the LHA or other service provider