Boston Housing Authority

Policies > Section 8 Admin Plan Ch 2: Advertising & Outreach

Section 8 Admin Plan

Chapter 2:Advertising & Outreach

2.1 Advertising and Outreach

2.1.1 Marketing Policy

It is the policy of the BHA to conduct advertising and outreach as needed to maintain an adequate application pool. As necessary, the BHA will inform present and potential Owners about the various programs through appropriate media channels. In its marketing efforts, it is the policy of the BHA to comply fully with existing Federal and State laws protecting the individual rights of Applicants, Participants, or staff as well as any laws subsequently enacted.[1]
The BHA will undertake marketing efforts whenever there is a need to do so in order to address: changes required as a result of legislative or regulatory requirements; fair housing needs; deconcentration; an insufficient pool of Applicants; or any other factor which may require marketing efforts to further HCVP and BHA goals.  The BHA shall assess these factors at least annually as part of its Agency Plan in order to determine the need and scope of the marketing effort.

2.1.2    Marketing Purposes.           

(a)        To encourage participation and educate Owners of suitable units, especially those located outside of areas of low income or Minority concentration.[2]
(b)        To inform real estate organizations and groups of interested property Owners about the HCVP Program and its many benefits.
(c)        To maintain an adequate pool of Applicants.

2.1.3    Marketing Requirements

The following requirements apply to BHA marketing efforts:
(a)        Fair Housing. Materials must comply with the Fair Housing Act requirements with respect to wording, logo, size of type, etc. All applicants will be provided information on how to file a fair housing complaint. This information will include the provision of the toll-free number for the Fair Housing Complaint Hotline (currently 1-800-669-9777 or TTY: 800-887-8339 for persons with hearing or speech impairments.)
(b)        Accurate Descriptions. Materials shall accurately describe each program, its application process, waiting list, estimated wait time, and Priority and Preference structure.
(c)        Plain Language. Marketing materials shall be in “plain language”. The BHA shall make an effort to use print media, videos and multi-media in a variety of languages.
(d)        Eligibility. Marketing materials will be clear to Applicants and Applicant families, including those with physical and/or mental disabilities.
(e)        Reasonable Accommodations. Marketing materials will include notice of the BHA responsibility to provide Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Persons if required because of disability.

2.1.4    Affirmative Marketing

The BHA shall undertake appropriate affirmative fair marketing efforts whenever the Authority identifies a need to augment the number of Applicants on any of its waiting lists.
(a)        Print Media. As necessary, the BHA will utilize regional publications to conduct outreach to accomplish goals and to facilitate outreach to those groups identified under section 2.1.2. The publications that the BHA will use include, but are not limited to: 

Newspaper Street Town Zip
Allston-Brighton TAB
PO Box 9113
Back Bay Courant 294 Washington St., Suite 429 Boston 02108
Banker and Tradesman 280 Summer Street Boston 02210
Bay State Banner 68 Fargo Street, 8th Fl Boston 02210
Bay Windows 631 Tremont Street Boston 02118
Beacon Hill Times 25 Myrtle Street Boston 02114
Boston Business Journal 200 High Street Boston 02110
Boston City Paper 492 E. Broadway South Boston 02127
Boston Haitian Reporter 150 Mt. Vernon St., Suite 120 Dorchester 02125
Boston Irish Reporter 150 Mt. Vernon St., Suite 120 Dorchester 02125
Boston Seaport Journal/Travel N.E. 256 Marginal Street East Boston 02128
Boston TAB PO Box 9113 Needham 02492
Carriage News (Taxi News) PO Box 326 South Boston 02127
Charlestown Patriot 1 Thompson Square Charlestown 02129
Dorchester Argus Citizen PO Box 6 South Boston 02127
Dorchester Community News 1454 Dorchester Ave. Dorchester 02122
Dorchester Reporter 150 Mt. Vernon St., Suite 120 Dorchester 02125
East Boston Sun Journal Transcript PO Box 9103 Revere 02151
East Boston Times 40 William Kelly Square East Boston 02128
El Mundo 408 South Huntington Avenue Boston 02130
El Universal 1736 Washington Street Boston 02118
Fenway News PO Box 230307 Astor Station Boston 02123
Hyde Park Bulletin 11 Fairmont Avenue Hyde Park 02136
Hyde Park Tribune/JP Citizen 1261 Hyde Park Ave Hyde Park 02136
In Newsweekly 450 Harrison Ave Boston 02116
Independent Newspapers 385 Broadway, Suite 105 Revere 02151
Jamaica Plain Gazette/MHGazette PO Box 1139, 7 Harris Ave Jamaica Plain 02130
Jewish Advocate 15 School Street Boston 02108
La Semana 911 Massachusetts Ave. Boston 02118
Metro Newspaper 354 Congress Street Boston 02210
Parents Paper 670 Center Street Jamaica Plain 02130
Parkway/W. Roxbury Transcript PO Box 9113 Needham 02492
People's Voice PO Box 940, 554 Washington Dorchester 02124
Post Gazette (North End) PO Box 130135, 5 Prince St Boston 02113
Regional Review (North End) PO Box 1187 Saugus 01906
Sampan 200 Tremont Street Boston 02116
Sing Tao 130 Lincoln St Boston 02111
South Boston Online 490 Broadway South Boston 02127
South Boston Tribune PO Box 6 South Boston 02127
South End News 631 Tremont Street Boston 02118
Spare Change 1151 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge 02138
Wade Publications, LTD PO Box 400811 N. Cambridge 02140
West Roxbury Bulletin 1842 Center Street West Roxbury 02132
West Roxbury Transcript PO Box 9113 Needham 02492


2.1.5    Encouraging Participation in Areas of Low Poverty Concentration

The Boston Fair Housing Commission administers the MetroList Program. MetroList is a rental listing service that provides Applicants/Participants with access to information about rental housing throughout the Metropolitan Boston area. Many Owners and managers throughout the Boston area are required to list new and recently vacated units with MetroList. In addition, private Owners and property management companies are encouraged to list available units with MetroList on a regular basis. MetroList places the listings in a computer database. Furthermore, counselors are available at MetroList to assist Applicants/Participants in filling out applications and communicating with Owners and building managers.
The BHA encourages Owners to advertise with MetroList through the use of informational seminars and outreach workshops.  These workshops also provide information on federal, State, and city programs that provide financial assistance for improvements and repairs. MetroList receives listings from a number of communities, many of which are in areas of low poverty concentration. The BHA also refers Participants to the MetroList.
The BHA has prepared maps that show various areas with housing opportunities outside areas of poverty or Minority concentration. The BHA has also assembled information about the characteristics of those areas that may include information about job opportunities, schools, transportation and other services in these areas. The BHA will use the maps and area characteristics information when briefing Voucher Holders about the full range of areas where they may look for housing.


[1] See also section 1.2 of this Administrative Plan– “Statement of Nondiscrimination” and all subsections

[2]  See 24 C.F.R. § 982.54(d)(6)