Littleton Rental Assistance Program

The Littleton Rental Assistance Program (LRAP) provides rental assistance to income-eligible households who are renting qualified housing units in the Town of Littleton. The goal of the program is to provide greater housing stability and housing opportunities to cost-burdened renters in Littleton. The rental assistance available through the program will be provided for a period of one year in the amount of $250 per month to each participating household.

Background & Summary

Littleton residents who are renters tend to have high levels of housing cost burden, according to the U.S Census Bureau American Community Survey 2013 to 2017 5-year estimate. It is estimated that 15.4% of Littleton renters are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing expenses, and an additional 15.8% of Littleton renters are severely cost-burdened, spending over 50% of their income on housing. This data is supported with current face-to-face contacts in the Elder and Human Services office and Littleton Housing Authority, confirming that a significant number of Littleton households are severely rent burdened.

The objective of the LRAP is to assist households with incomes that are less than those of households aided by Chapter 40B affordable housing. The LRAP assistance offsets participants' rental costs and reduces the risk of homelessness. In a wider sense, it enables cost-burdened households to expend funds on other necessary items, such as medical costs, transportation, and education. This program is intended to help households afford expenditures that will permanently improve their circumstances and will enable them to be self-sufficient. Ongoing contact with the Town's Elder and Human Services office is a requirement of the program.

The LRAP is funded by the Community Preservation Act (CPA). It is entirely consistent with the CPA's support of community housing. The CPA funding appropriated at the May 2019 Town Meeting will fund the LRAP, through the Littleton Affordable Housing Trust. Households are eligible for assistance if they are cost-burdened (the household spends more than 30% of gross income on rent). Participants are selected through a ranking system which is described in more detail below. While the LRAP is not limited to current Littleton residents, assistance will be available only for residential units within the Town of Littleton. Applicants must identify an intended Littleton address at the time of application. Participants are eligible for a maximum of three years of assistance, subject to funding, based on their individual program entry date. Households receiving any Federal or State housing assistance, such as Section 8, are not eligible to participate in the LRAP.

Calculation of housing (rental) cost burden for the purposes of determining eligibility for the LRAP shall include utilities.

Application Process

The formal application period for the first year of the program will be open for rolling admissions until all 18 slots are filled. All interested households must submit new applications each year. Applications for assistance will be available by September 30, 2019. Rental assistance is expected to be disbursed to landlords as early as December 2, 2019 and is anticipated to continue for a one-year duration. Participants will be able to renew their assistance annually for a maximum of three years, subject to an eligibility review and the approval of future funding of the LRAP by the Affordable Housing Trust.

LRAP applications and information packets will be available at the Town of Littleton website and at the Elder and Human Services Department/Council on Aging in the Littleton Town Hall. Applicants have the right to request a reasonable accommodation to complete the application, which may include a change to a policy, procedure, or practice to afford a person with a disability an equal opportunity to participate fully in the housing program or to use and enjoy the housing.

All prospective households must submit a complete LRAP application form and all required supporting documents by the application deadline in order to be considered for selection. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by the administering entity. Applicants who submit an incomplete application will be notified of the deficiencies in their application and will have until the application deadline to correct these deficiencies.