Paul Grenham - Operations

The Operations Department manages CHA’s Low Income Public Housing subsidized units. We provide management and maintenance assistance to CHA’s family, elderly, and disabled households.

The Operations Department preserves and maintains our public housing units, grounds, buildings, and building systems. We believe in preserving the CHA’s mission to manage safe, good quality affordable housing.

At an annual cost of approximately $40 million, the Operations Department oversees more than 3,000 units of both state and federally funded housing, as well as affiliate and non-profit properties.

Rental Assistance Demonstration

In December 2014, HUD approved CHA’s application to convert nine of its public housing properties to HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

RAD conversion allows CHA to protect its affordable housing stock and financially stabilize its properties as we face substantial cuts to HUD’s Federal Public Housing Programs.

CHA is now moving forward with conversion of the Phase 1 properties and the coordination of many required components to accomplishing this changeover.

Operations Staff

Paul Grenham - Director of Facilities Management

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Director of Facilities Management Work Phone: 617-405-5541


Cambridge Housing Authority’s (CHA) Family and Elderly Housing Program consists of apartment complexes (also known as developments) and individual apartments in which the subsidy is property-based (attached to the apartment, and not mobile (attached to the tenant). Within the Family and Elderly Housing Program, there are different types of sub-programs, with slightly different rules, with the biggest difference being the income eligibility requirement for admission into the respective programs. In order to be admitted into a particular program, the applicant household must not exceed the maximum income limit for that housing program.

To be eligible for an apartment offer your income may not exceed the following amounts based on household size. For example, if you apply for a property within the New Construction (NC) program and your household consists of 3 persons (including adults and children), and your total household income is greater than $53,350 your household will NOT be eligible.

The chart below shows the maximum income allowable for each household size in order to be admitted into the specified housing program. Some housing programs are currently in transition and income limits will be subject to changes as housing programs undergo conversion.

Maximum Income Limits by Household Size

Program1 Person2 Persons3 Persons4 Persons5 Persons6 Persons7 Persons8 Persons
NC 50% AMI$41,500$47,400$53,350$59,250$64,000$68,750$73,500$78,250
100% LIHTC 60 % AMI$49,800$56,880$64,020$71,100$76,800$82,500$88,200$93,900
<100% LIHTC 60 & 80% AMI$49,800 & $62,450$56,880 & $71,400$64,020 & $80,300$71,100 & $89,200$76,800 & $96,350$82,500 & $103,500$88,200 & $110,650$93,900 & $117,750
PH, FPLI & RAD/ NON-LIHTC 80% AMI  $62,450  $71,400  $80,300  $89,200  $96,350  $103,500  $110,650  $117,750

Important Note: These income limits are subject to change annually during the first quarter of each year.

In addition to the income limits, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants cannot be a single full-time student under the age of 24 without dependents, (veterans and persons with disabilities are exempt from this requirement).
  • There must be at least one member of the household who is either a U.S. citizen or has eligible immigration status.
  • For more information on eligibility see Chapter 3 Section A of the Administrative Plan Part 2 for the RAD Developments at under the section “About the CHA.”

If you want your name placed on any of Cambridge Housing Authority’s (CHA) waitlists, complete the pre- application on our Info for Applicants page. If you fail to complete the online pre-application correctly, your name will NOT be placed on any of the waitlists. You will receive a confirmation number when you have successfully submitted your pre-application.

Applicants can claim one or more of the following preferences on their pre-application (to be verified at the time of screening). Applicants with a preference have priority on the waitlists over applicants without a preference. All of the preferences listed below carry equal weight and are not ranked or combined to give certain applicants more priority points or a “higher” preference.

  • Cambridge Resident – The applicant is a permanent resident of Cambridge (this includes Congregate Housing and Single Room Occupancy [SRO] located in Cambridge) on the date that he/she submitted a preliminary application, the date of screening, and the date of final certification. If the applicant is temporarily living with relatives in Cambridge, or living in a shelter, in or outside of Cambridge, and the applicant’s last permanent resident was in Cambridge, the applicant is considered a resident of Cambridge.
  • Cambridge Shelter or Transitional Facility – The applicant is living in a Cambridge shelter or transitional facility or was living in a Cambridge shelter or transitional facility and was relocated by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) or other service provider to a facility outside of Cambridge.
  • Employment in Cambridge – The applicant is not a resident of Cambridge; however, the applicant or household member is employed or about to be employed in Cambridge on the date of application, the date of screening, and the date of final certification.
  • Veteran’s Status – The applicant is an honorably discharged individual that performed wartime service or the spouse, surviving spouse, parent or other dependent of an honorably discharged veteran.

Under CHA’s Family and Elderly Housing programs, you select the site-based wait list (SBWL) only for the properties where you are willing to reside. Individuals and families who are screened and found eligible for one of our Family and Elderly Housing programs will be offered an apartment at the relevant property when one becomes available. Refusal of the offer without good cause results in the household’s removal from all Family and Elderly Housing SBWLs. That is why it is important that you select only the properties where you know you want to live.

  • Select SBWL(s) for which you fall below the maximum income limit for admission. (See Maximum Income Limit chart on page 2.)
  • Select SBWL(s) for properties that have apartments with the number of bedrooms that your household needs. (See chart on apartment size requirements on page 3.)
  • Select SBWL(s) with properties in areas of the city where you are willing to live.
  • If you select a SBWL for “elderly/disabled only,” it means that the head of household, co-head or spouse must be at least 58 years of age or have a disability. (Disability status must be verified at the time of screening.)
  • You should take a look at the fact sheets for the waitlists before making your selection(s). The fact sheets will provide more detailed information about the properties.

Generally, pre-applications are processed by CHA within 30 days of confirmation.

  • Applicants should wait 30 days from the time of submission of a pre-application to make changes.
  • Notify CHA of any changes in your information. Once you have submitted a pre-application, it is your responsibility to notify CHA of any changes in your household composition, contact information, income and/or selection preferences, by logging in to the applicant portal at and updating your information.
  • Make sure that you can and will receive mail at any address that you have provided to CHA to use as your mailing address.
  • Correspondence that is returned to CHA marked as “unknown,” “return to sender,” “forwarding address unknown,” or “no such address” will result in an applicant’s removal from all CHA waitlists.
  • For more information on the waitlist policies (including preferences) see Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Administrative Plan for RAD Developments at program at under the section “About the CHA.”

Some changes in household composition may affect your original date and time of application.

  • If you have a change in household composition, due to birth, adoption, court ordered permanent custody or marriage; divorce, death, or other decrease in family size; or the addition of a live-in aide and your existing development choices do not have the appropriate bedroom size for your new household composition, CHA will allow you to make new development selections for any open SBWL and retain your original date and time of application.
  • A new date and time of application will be applied to any new wait list selections for all other changes in household composition.

After submitting a pre-application online, you may apply to additional site-based wait lists SBWLs by submitting a new pre-application online. Each pre-application you submit receives a new date and time of application for the additional SBWLs you have chosen. Generally, the date and time of your previous pre-application for other waitlists will not change.

You may remove your name from a SBWL at any time by submitting your request in writing to the CHA’s Operations Department.

When your name is near the top of a SBWL, and an appropriately sized apartment from that SBWL will become available soon, you will be contacted by the Operations Tenant Selection staff at that CHA central office to come in for a screening appointment. It will be important that you promptly provide all the requested documentation required for the screening process. If you fail to attend your scheduled screening without good cause and do not contact the CHA prior to the scheduled screening appointment, the CHA will withdraw your application from all SBWLs.

Please take note of the average wait time in the charts below. This will give you an idea of how long you will most likely be required to wait before your name reaches near the top of the particular SBWL. Please consider this when making your selections.

Rent statements are mailed at the beginning of every month. If you did not receive a rent statement, please obtain one through your management office.

A dispute between a resident and management should first be brought to the attention of a District Manager. If the matter can still not be settled, all residents of CHA managed buildings have a right to file a file a grievance through the Legal Department. To do so, you may file a “Request for Hearing” form which can be obtained through the CHA website, at the management office, or at the CHA Central Office (front desk). More information regarding grievances may be found in the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy or Administrative Plan.

Rental Assistance Demonstration

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is a HUD demonstration program that combines public housing operating and capital subsidy into payments under a RAD Section 8 Project-Based Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract. CHA has used its flexibility under the Moving to Work Demonstration Program to make the conversion feasible.

The switch from the public housing to the RAD Section 8 Project-Based subsidy program will allow CHA to tap resources that don’t exist, or would not work in traditional public housing. CHA’s MTW flexibility combined with RAD attracts significant private funding, the ability to take on mortgages and the use of tax credits. With this boost of private funds, CHA plans to renovate and restore the majority of its properties, some of which have been in long disrepair, keeping them viable and most importantly affordable.

CHA is committed to keeping the same operational rules, rent structure and tenant rights that are in place now. Residents should feel very little day-to-day impact in how CHA manages its properties.

As of November 1, residents signed a new lease, preserving current tenant rights and protections after the RAD conversion. CHA’s Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy and Administrative Plan will also be retained and are being updated to reflect any needed adjustments under RAD conversion. In addition, CHA will have a RAD use agreement, long-term ground leases, deed restrictions and other recorded restrictions to ensure stability and to keep these properties affordable for generations to come.

On conversion, some properties will become tax-credit properties. When Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) are used to finance major construction at a site, the property becomes subject to LIHTC rules, which include additional income certifications and inspections.

As of January 1, 2015, CHA has stopped accepting new applicants to its Family and Elderly/Disabled waitlists. Because of the  revitalization and modernization work which is ongoing throughout CHA’s portfolio, several sites will require households to move out temporarily while the properties undergo renovation. In order to provide apartments for temporary relocation, CHA will need to hold vacant units. On April 23, 2015 a letter was sent to all active public housing applicants (Family Public Housing and Elderly/Disabled Public Housing) to inform them of the extended wait times projected to complete RAD construction.

No resident will lose their home because of RAD conversion.  Residents are guaranteed that they will not be displaced because of RAD. Some households will be relocated temporarily to complete major construction work at some sites. Each proposed construction project requires a detailed resident participation process including a resident relocation plan that spells out every detail of these temporary moves, including CHA’s responsibilities to each household and a guarantee of return to the property upon completion of work. As of April 15, 2015, relocation is underway at Putnam Gardens, Newtowne Court and Manning Apartments.