3% Priority Program

The Massachusetts 3% Priority Program supports the Commonwealth’s efforts to help people with disabilities and elders live in the least restrictive setting possible. Through this program, the Commonwealth provides priority access for people with disabilities and elders to community-based housing coupled with the services they need to be successful members of the community. This program represents a unique opportunity for collaboration across state agencies.

Beginning in September 2020, owners of rental developments funded or overseen by MassHousing, the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), MassDevelopment or the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, with at least 17 affordable units restricted to households earning no more than 80% of area median income, are required to provide priority access to 3% of all subsidized units for referrals from the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health (DMH), Developmental Services (DDS), the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA).

Program Information

  • The 3% Priority Program is a closed referral program. When notified of an available unit, DMH/DDS/EOEA/MRC staff identify eligible applicants and send completed applications to the management company. The 3% Priority Program Coordinator conducts a lottery to randomly order the applications.
  • The management company conducts applicant screening in the lottery order.
  • DMH/DDS/EOEA/MRC offer support services to maintain successful tenancies and are available to the management company to help address any concerns.
  • In cases of unsuccessful tenancies, DMH/DDS/EOEA/MRC will assist with alternative housing search.

For details on how the program works, view the 3% Operations Manual.

For MassHousing-financed developments, MassHousing's Asset Management Department reviews a development's participation in the program as part of the Property Management Review. As with any MassHousing requirement, participation can affect the overall outcome of the AMR.

Quick Start: Property Managers

If you are new to the 3% Priority Program and wish to learn how your development begins to participate, please view the 3% Operations Manual. Then contact the 3% Priority Program Coordinator who can provide the required number of units and other details.

If you need referrals for an upcoming vacancy:

  1. Go to MassAccessHousingRegistry.org
  2. Log into your development's page
  3. List the available unit details
+ Show More - Less

Quick Start: DMH/DDS/EOEA/MRC Staff

If you are new to the 3% Priority Program and want to refer a client for a 3% Priority Program Unit, contact the DMH/DDS/MRC/EOEA staff for your area as all referrals are processed through them.

If you are looking for general program information, contact the 3% Priority Program Coordinator at MassHousing for details.

+ Show More - Less