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Support for Renters FAQ

How does Way Finders provide support for renters?

Way Finders provides a wide array of services and counseling to help individuals and families secure and stay in safe and affordable rental housing.

What is rental assistance?

Rental assistance helps low-income households secure decent, affordable rental housing by finding ways to fill in the gap between the family's ability to pay and total housing costs. Way Finders administers both state and federally funded rental assistance programs that do just that.

How does it work?

For most programs, you must find rental housing that meets program requirements. If you are living in an assisted unit, your home is regularly inspected to insure that it meets program safety standards. When you move in, you sign an agreement that is also signed by the owner and the agency providing assistance. You each agree to honor certain rights and responsibilities. You pay a share of the rent based on your household income, and Way Finders pays the rest directly to the landlord each month. The amount of rental assistance families receive is based on household income.

It sounds confusing.

If you are selected for the program, you will receive counseling on program requirements, tenant rights and responsibilities, fair housing, housing search and negotiating with landlords. Landlords are also counseled about the program. They receive monthly checks directly from the agency. Way Finders’ housing counselors help tenants as well as landlords.

To get help through Way Finders, where can I rent a home?

You may choose housing anywhere in Hampden, Hampshire or Franklin Counties and lease it through Way Finders. You are also able to select housing anywhere in Massachusetts through a network of regional agencies that have contracts with the state Department of Housing and Community Development. Out-of-state transfers can also be arranged under other programs.

What specific programs does Way Finders oversee?

Way Finders oversees several state and federally funded programs that assist families in paying their housing costs. Rental support programs include the following:

  • Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)
  • Rental Assistance for Housing Rehabilitation
  • Project-based Section 8 Rental Assistance
  • Rental Assistance for Special Populations
  • Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH)
  • Project Based Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program