On August 9, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) issued new guidance for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), as required in the FY23 MRVP Budget Line Item passed in July. DHCD is implementing new calculation methods for both Mobile and Project Based Voucher Tenant Rent Shares for MRVP.
According to DHCD, DHCD is moving MRVP from a model with maximum rents and a Voucher Value to a payment standard model, similar to the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). A utility allowance will also replace the current heat deduction. DHCD believes this switch will allow MRVP Participants additional choice when searching for housing with their voucher, while also lowering the percentage of net income a vast majority of Participants pay in rent to Owners.
For Project Based Vouchers, DHCD is lowering Tenant Rent Share to 30% of net income and adding a utility allowance.
According to DHCD, all changes to the calculation of tenant rent share will be effective the first time tenant rent share is re-calculated for any reason on or after January 1, 2023.
CHAPA advocated for these changes along with many of our partners in the FY2023 state budget. These new policies will strengthen and improve our state rental voucher program and will benefit the tens of thousands of residents with MRVP vouchers.