Q: What is the difference between Section 8 and Public Housing?
A: Section 8 and Public Housing are both rental subsidy programs. Section 8 clients find an approved unit and the Housing Authority pays a rental payment directly to a private landlord. A Public Housing client is subsidized while living in a unit owned by the Housing Authority.
Q: How do I apply for housing assistance?
A: The first thing you need to do is fill out a BHA application. Applications are available to you by calling the office at207-725-8711 to have one mailed to you, by coming into our office at 12 Stone Street or by clicking here. Applications can be mailed or faxed to:
Brunswick Housing Authority
P.O. Box A
Q: What are the phone numbers for the surrounding Housing Authorities?
A: Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) 1-800-452-4668
Bath Housing Authority 207-443-3116
Q: Where am I on the waiting list?
A: The wait list is updated the first week of each month. Please contact the business
office at 207-725-8711 to inquire of your placement on the wait list. Link to HAB?
Public Housing Questions
Q: What is public housing?
A: Public housing is apartments owned and managed by the Housing Authority.
Q: What housing complexes are you responsible for in Brunswick?
A: The Brunswick Housing Authority owns and manages Woodlawn Tower located at 30 Water Street (100 elderly units), Woodlawn Terrace located at 12 Stone Street (41 elderly units), Perryman Village located at Cook’s Corner(50 family units) and Old Gurnet located off Harpswell Street (24 family units).
Q: How long is the waiting list?
A: The wait time varies; currently the time is 3 to 12 months.
Q: If I still own property, or have assets, can I still receive assistance?
A: Yes, only the interest earned or the current % prescribed by the government is used to calculate your annual income.
Q: Can I use my Voucher in Public Housing units?
A: No, vouchers can only be utilized in the Section 8 Program.
Section 8 Questions
Q: What is the Brunswick Housing Authority’s jurisdiction?
A: The BHA administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program in Brunswick, Harpswell, West Bath, Bath, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Durham, Freeport and Topsham.
Q: What is the wait time to be served with a voucher?
A: Wait time varies, the current wait is about 12 to 18 months.
Q: How often can I move with a Housing Choice Voucher?
A: The policy of the BHA states that you may move once a year after you have fulfilled the initial term of your lease.
Q: Can a property owner refuse to rent to me because I have a voucher?
A: No. If you feel you have been discriminated against, contact the State Attorney General’s office at 207-626-8849.
Q: How much will my rent be?
A: The general rule is 30% of your gross income. This amount can vary based on your income, the rent amount requested by the owner, the cost of any utilities you may be responsible for, and the applicable Payment Standard.
Q: What is the amount of assistance I can receive for a one, two, or three bedroom unit?
A: The amount of assistance is called the Payment Standard (rent plus utilities). The Payment Standards (PS) are updated annually. Click here for the current PS.
Q: Can I rent a unit that is above the Payment Standard?
A: Yes, but you will be responsible for every dollar over the payment up to 40% of your gross income. For example, if the PS is $500 but the rent is $550 with all utilities included than your rent would be 30% of your income plus the additional $50 over the PS.
Q: What is portability?
A: Portability allows you to use your voucher in any community throughout the United States and its territories that administers a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Q: Who can receive portability?
A: The policy of the BHA gives portability to any program participant that is either placed on our waiting list, living within our jurisdiction, or has lived in the BHA’s jurisdiction for one year after receiving their voucher.
Q: What is the Congregate Housing Services Program?
A: The CHSP is a service program to help residents maintain independence within their apartments.
Q: Who qualifies?
A: Must be a resident of Woodlawn Tower or Terrace and have need in three areas of “activities of daily living” such as help with meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, personal care, transportation, and/or need an emergency response system.
Q: Is there a charge for service?
A: Yes, there is a co-pay based on a formula. Anyone living in our complex can afford the service.
Q: Who provides the service?
A: The services are provided on site. Meals are cooked on site, there is a housekeeper hired by the BHA, the van is owned by the BHA, and personal care is provided through CHANS, the local home health agency in Brunswick. We do not need to provide all the services for you. Many times family or community agencies provide some assistance and we can supplement services through our program.
Q: Who determines eligibility for the program?
A: An assessment is completed by the Congregate Services Coordinator. Eligibility is determined by the assessment.
Family Self-Sufficiency Questions
Q: What is the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS)?
A: The FSS Program is available for families currently on the Section 8 Program. This program helps families move toward economic self-sufficiency.
Q: How does the FSS Program work?
A: Interested persons should contact Charles Small at 725-8711. Your first step wouldbe to complete an application. Step two would be to meet with Mr. Small and together complete a needs assessment, develop an individualized plan to help you achieve meaningful work. Thirdly, once a reasonable plan has been developed then a contract of participation would be signed. This contract outlines your goals to achieve work. You have 5 years to achieve your goal.
Q: What would happen if I did not meet my goals?
A: The only consequence would be that if you had money in an escrow account with the BHA, then you would not receive it.
Q: What is the escrow account?
A: The escrow account is an incentive built into the FSS Program. Once a contract of participation has been signed, participants have 5 years to complete the program. During this time an escrow account can be built by participants. The money for those accounts comes from the housing authority and can be established once families have earned income coming into the household. No money comes from participants. The amount of money that goes into a participant account is based on a formula. Once participants have successfully completed the program, then they receive the money in their individual accounts and they can use that money as they wish.
Q: What does it mean to successfully complete this program?
A: To successfully complete the program, participants must be (1) welfare free (no TANF assistance) for 12 consecutive months. Medicaid (MaineCare), transitional child care, or need for ongoing Section 8 assistance does not count as welfare assistance. (2) Gainfully employed.