If you fail to document Priority Status, you will be on the waiting list as a Standard Applicant with the original date the LHA received your application.
Priority status is only available to an applicant who meets the definition of Homeless Applicant which states that an applicant is considered Homeless who has been or is imminently faced with displacement from his/her primary residence (a primary residence is a home occupied by your household for no less than nine months of the year and that was not intended to be a temporary residence) as a result of circumstances described below and who:
(a) is without or about to be without a place to live or is living in a situation that is a significant, immediate threat to the life or safety of the applicant or a household member. Placement in an appropriate unit would remedy this living situation. (Applicants temporarily residing in a shelter or healthcare institution are considered without a place to live.), and
(b) has made reasonable efforts to find alternative housing, and
(c) has not caused or substantially contributed to the safety or life-threatening situation (In Abusive situations, there is a presumption that victims did not contribute to their circumstances.), and
(d) has tried to prevent the situation; has sought assistance through the courts or appropriate administrative or enforcement agencies. (This need not be verified where there is no available way to prevent or avoid the situation, such as in a natural disaster.)
The Housing Authority will indicate on the following list the types of documents that you are responsible for obtaining to verify the information that you provided on your housing application. Please provide the Housing Authority with all documents that you have that verify your circumstances, even if they are not listed below. If you need clarification or have questions, please call the Housing Authority.
If you can no longer live in your residence due to a fire, flood, or earthquake submit:
If you have been displaced within the past three (3) years due to public works, urban renewal, or public usage or improvement; submit the following:
If you have been displaced due to a public health agency’s enforcement of local or state health codes:
The Other Priority Category is for Homeless Applicants who have been displaced or are imminently faced with displacement from their Primary Residence because of circumstances as follows:
A. HOMELESS FOR A NO-FAULT REASON: applicant household is homeless and facing an immediate and direct threat to life or safety through no fault of their own and for reasons outside their control including substandard housing conditions which directly and substantially endanger or impair the health, safety or well-being of the household.
B. SEVERE MEDICAL: applicant household member is suffering from severe medical condition, illness, or injury which is life-threatening and has been caused by the lack of suitable housing or the lack of such suitable housing is a substantial impediment to treatment or recovery.
C. ABUSE: applicant or household member is or was in an abusive situation (domestic violence).
If your situation is one or more of the above, you need to submit the following as indicated below:
A. HOMELESS for No-Fault Reason. If you are homeless and living in a hotel, motel, or shelter, your housing search worker or a shelter staff member must provide written verification which certifies your homelessness to the Housing Authority. If you are homeless and staying temporarily with friends or relatives, your housing provider must verify your situation in writing. You must also prove that you were a primary resident at the address from which you were displaced, and you must establish a no-fault reason for your displacement from your primary residence such as the owner wants the property vacant for remodeling, condo conversion or for his own family. Substandard housing conditions must be verified under Priority #2 above.
B. SEVERE MEDICAL reasons need to be documented by your medical records. Your medical provider needs to submit written certification of your medical condition, the contributing factors to that condition, and the prognosis of your condition to the Housing Authority. You must also prove that you are a primary resident at the address from which you were displaced by your medical condition, or that your current primary residence is unsuitable because of your medical condition.
C. ABUSIVE situation needs to be documented through some combination of the following, based on your individual circumstances. Since certain actions on the part of victims of domestic violence can trigger violent acts by the offenders, no particular item can be mandated as the required form of verification. Please remember that if any verification appears vague, an LHA must obtain additional documentation until the LHA feels that a reasonable showing of the abusive situation has been made. Examples of documentation could include one or more of the following:
You must also prove that you were a primary resident at the address from which you were or are being displaced, and that the abusive situation is the reason for your displacement.
Priority #5 is available to an applicant, otherwise eligible and qualified, who is living in a non-permanent, transitional housing subsidized by the AHVP. To verify eligibility, the applicant must provide:
A letter from the LHA that issued your AHVP Certificate verifying that you are an active participant in the AHVP.
A current tenant of a housing authority seeking a transfer from his/her present unit must verify eligibility for one of the good cause transfer categories below.
Even if you can verify the above, you must also be otherwise eligible for transfer. To be eligible, all monies due to the Housing Authority must be current and you must not have committed any serious violations of the lease for at least two years, nor be subject to eviction proceedings or to the terms of an agreement for judgment in a prior eviction proceeding.
353 Elm Street, Lawrence, MA 01841
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