About the Program
The Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (SNO Mass) Program supports Housing Choice Voucher families with school-aged children making moves to communities with high quality schools, parks and open spaces and healthy, safe environments. SNO Mass helps families take full advantage of the “choice” embedded in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
This voluntary program provides a wide-range of supports to help participating families to access and attain residential stability in higher opportunity neighborhoods; locations with high-performing schools, low poverty rates, and environments that have demonstrated positive health and well-being outcomes for children and adults.
Click to view the SNO Mass brochure: English • Spanish • Portuguese
It has a BIG impact on your family.
It can influence your family’s health, the quality of your child’s education, their future income and quality of life.
It is a BIG decision.
You shouldn’t have to rush into taking any apartment just because it is available. It has to be the right place for your family.
You have CHOICES.
SNO Mass can help you with the choices that matter most to you and your family.
To be eligible for the SNO Mass program you must:
- Be a RCAP Solutions Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher participant in good standing
- Have at least one child in your household under the age of 18
- Currently live in a non-SNO Mass Opportunity Area
- Dedicated counselors that provide you with helpful information to consider your family’s needs and preferences.
- Pre-move counseling connects you to available landlords and units.
- Financial Assistance is available to help with moving costs, security deposits, and other fees.
- Post-move counseling is there to support you in your new neighborhood.
- Potentially higher voucher value to pay higher rent for apartments in high-opportunity areas.
SNO Mass high opportunity areas are neighborhoods that have educational and health benefits for your family:
- High-quality public schools
- Parks and green spaces
- Supermarkets with healthy food options
- Low poverty rates
- High employment rates
The SNO Mass team will provide custom housing search and support to help determine which opportunity areas are best for your family.
SNO Mass provides special support to families who choose to move to a high opportunity area:
- Help with housing search
- Apartment listings in opportunity areas
- Potentially higher voucher value
- Transportation to view apartments
- Information on schools and assistance with transfers
- Financial assistance with moving costs, security deposit, and other fees before and after you move
- The SNO Mass team will continue to support you after your move to assist with the transition into your new community.
- Providing assistance in locating resources and services in your new community
SNO Mass Supports for Landlords/Property Owners
Landlords/property owners who rent a unit in RCAP Solutions’ designated SNO Mass Opportunity Areas to a SNO Mass Participant are eligible for several supports and incentives.
Click here to see if your unit is located in a designated SNO Mass Opportunity Area.
These supports include:
Landlords who lease to SNO Mass-referred participants will receive a $2,400 bonus broken into two installments. The first installment ($1,200) will be paid when the lease is signed.
The second installment (another $1,200) will be paid if the landlord renews their initial lease with the SNO Mass tenant or if the original SNO Mass tenant moves out but either a) the unit is rented to another SNO Mass tenant or b) there is damage exceeding the security deposit.
SNO Mass Enhanced Communication includes:
- A single point of contact
- Accelerated response time – phone calls and emails will be returned by SNO Mass staff within one business day
Potential SNO Mass landlords renting a new unit will receive a call back to schedule an inspection within 1 business day with a guaranteed inspection date within 2 to 3 business days. Units that have minor repairs but meet HQS health and safety standards may be occupied prior to final approval.
The program representative will confirm receipt of paperwork with the Mobility Specialist and work with appropriate staff to ensure expedient RFTA review for SNO Mass Participants. Mobility Specialists will email and/or phone the landlord within 1 business day of the RFTA being submitted.
Rent reasonableness determinations in opportunity areas will be expedited for SNO Mass participants. Market analysis and the identification of three comparable units will be completed in 2 to 3 business days.
The SNO Mass program will apply the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) Approved Payment Standards or HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) – whichever is higher – to all units that are leased to SNO Participants. EOHLC anticipates that this will make HCV applicants competitive in neighborhoods that have traditionally been less accessible.