Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program

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  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) provides both mobile and project-based vouchers to low-income renters in Massachusetts.

MRVP provides two types of vouchers to low-income renters living at or below 50% of area median income. The project-based voucher provides a fixed amount to subsidize rents for specific units. Renters using these vouchers pay 35 to 40 percent of their income for the property with the MRVP subsidy making up the remainder. The mobile voucher is provided to individual renters to pay for housing. Renters using a mobile voucher pay between 30 to 40 percent of their income in rent and the voucher pays for the balance.

In 1993, the state merged several voucher programs to create MRVP. At that time Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) issued 15,000 vouchers, though several years prior to that the number of housing vouchers issued by the state were closer to 20,000.

Between the late 1980s and 2004 funding for housing vouchers decreased considerably and the number of vouchers issued by the state fell to less than a quarter of its highest mark. As state funding for vouchers has decreased, funding for the Emergency Assistance program which provides shelter to low-income families has increased. (For a full discussion of this issue please see MassBudget's Shelter and Housing for Homeless Families: Historical Funding and the Governor's FY 2015 Budget Proposal.)

In the last several years, recognizing the importance of helping low-income earners pay for housing, the budget has significantly increased funding for MRVP allowing DHCD to create more vouchers.

Updated January 2017

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