Housing Authority

Housing Authority Overview


Local Housing Authorities by definition are responsible for a broad range of issues, including, but not limited to ensuring the integrity and professionalism of the housing authority, setting policy and by-laws, advocating for low-income housing and the interests of the tenants, maintaining good community relations, supporting tenant participation in the administration of public housing, ensuring adherence to DHCD (Massachusetts, Department of Housing and Community Development) rules and regulations.

The housing authority board establishes and gives oversight to the planning, development, and management of the housing authority. In an absolute sense, the board is responsible for living up to all of the obligations that it incurs by law and contract. This responsibility cannot be delegated.

Douglas Housing Authority


The Douglas Housing Authority (DHA) however has no public housing units in the Town of Douglas to administer and until it does the responsibilities above are extremely limited in scope or non-existent. The DHA however can act in a referral capacity to other local or state agencies that have public housing units in your search for public housing or a housing authority that runs a Section 8 voucher program for Subsidized Housing vouchers.

As of January 2013 there has been legislation filed by Governor Patrick that calls for regionalization of all Housing Authorities. It is still working it's way thru the legislature and until enacted there is no indication how the DHA or future public housing in Douglas will be affected. As developments unfold additional information will be provided.

The DHA will provide links, phone numbers and contact information to assist you. If you find out of date information or broken links please let us know.

Public Housing Landlords


If you live in public housing, the local housing authority owns your building and is your landlord. In a few cases, a private company may manage the building for the housing authority or may be part of the ownership, but the building is still controlled by the housing authority.

Housing authorities operate in many cities and towns in Massachusetts. They were established by state law to provide affordable housing for low-income people.

Subsidized Housing Landlords


If you live in subsidized housing, the housing authority is not your landlord. Subsidized housing is owned and operated by private owners who receive subsidies in exchange for renting to low- and moderate-income people. Owners may be individual landlords or for-profit or nonprofit corporations.

Subsidized housing can be obtained through vouchers, where the subsidy is used by a tenant to find rental housing in the private market and is paid to a private landlord. This subsidy stays with the tenant. Or it can be multifamily subsidized housing, where the subsidy is given to the owner who provides affordable housing. This subsidy stays with the property.

(reference; masslegalhelp Finding Public and Subsidized Housing Third Edition, 2009)