FAQ's About Applying for Housing

How to apply

How do I apply for an apartment at Westbrook Housing?

You must fill out an application, which you can print out from your computer, pick up at our office, or we can mail one to you if you call us at 207-854-6856 or 207-854-9779. If you come by the office, we will be happy to help you fill it out. We know it’s long and can be complicated.

As you fill out the application, you will be able to figure out which building you qualify for based on your age, household size, disability status, and income. You can apply for as many buildings that you qualify for.

I just submitted my application, what happens now?

When we receive your application, we date-stamp it, enter your information into our database, and place you on the waiting lists of any buildings you select and qualify for. The date you submit your application determines your place on the wait list.

Finally, we send you a letter confirming you are on the wait list(s) if you are eligible, or we explain why you are not eligible. If you selected a building you do not qualify for, we will contact you and explain what housing programs you do qualify for.

We also send you a form to use to notify us of any change in your address or other contact information. You must tell us if you move. If your name comes to the top of the list and we can’t reach you, your name is taken off the wait list.

Should I keep calling to see where I am on the wait list?

No, calling us will not affect how fast you advance on a wait list. Let us call you when your name reaches the top of the list.

How long will I be on a wait lists?

The wait for an apartment depends on the building you select. Some building waiting periods are only a few months, others can take years. We keep careful records, tenant selection depends on the date you applied.

Getting help with your application

The application asks if I have a criminal record, I was arrested a long time ago, do I have to answer yes?

Yes you do. The housing application is a legal document and you must tell the truth. Lying on an application will disqualify you. A criminal history may not automatically disqualify you from housing. If the offense was minor or a long time ago, it may not make a difference. We look at the seriousness of the offense, if there is a pattern of bad behavior, or if the arrests were recent. Telling the truth on an application is essential to be considered for our housing programs.

I have submitted my application and am on a wait list, can I add my name to another building’s wait list?

Yes, applicants may add or remove housing choices at any time. As long as you qualify for a building, your name can be added at any time. We will use the date you applied for the new building when we assign you to its wait list.

Can I submit an application for a Section 8 voucher and a Westbrook Housing apartment at the same time?

Yes, you can apply for a Section 8 voucher any time, even if you’re on a Westbrook Housing wait list or are already living in one of our apartments.

I do not speak English well, can I get help filling out an application?

Yes, an intake worker is available and will use a phone-based interpreter services at no cost to you to help you fill out your application. You may also bring your own interpreter (such as a family member, a friend, or an advocate) to help. Be aware that any person you bring to interpret must be at least 18 years old. Please call 854-9779 to schedule an appointment with an intake employee if you will need interpreter services.

I cannot read or write, can I get someone to help me fill out an application?

Yes, an intake worker is available to help you complete an application. Call 854-9779 to make an appointment so you can be guaranteed someone will be available to assist you.

How can I review my file information?

The applicant file may be reviewed by the applicant or any individual(s) authorized by the applicant in writing. Call Westbrook Housing at 954-9779 for more information.

What types of housing do you have?

What public housing options do you offer?

Westbrook Housing’s public housing for elderly and disabled residents include Riverview Terrace at 21 Knight Street and Larrabee Woods at 10 Liza Harmon Drive. Applicants must either be at least 62 years old or declared disabled (Riverview Terrace only) by a doctor or Social Security. Residents in these buildings pay about 30% of their monthly gross income in rent.

What senior housing does Westbrook Housing have?

  • If you are age 62 or older, make less than $27,100 (or $30,950 for a couple), and could use some support services such as housekeeping or a meal served onsite, Larrabee Village is an option. You pay about 30% of your income in rent in this Section 8-based building.
  • If you are 55 or older and make between $22,000-$32,520 (or up to $37,140 for two) you may qualify to live in Mill Brook Estates at 300 East Bridge St., Presumpscot Commons at 765 Main St., or Spring Crossing at 19 Ash St. Most of these apartments are one-bedroom, there are a limited number of two-bedroom units. Section 8 vouchers are accepted. There are limited support services available in these buildings. Rents for a one-bedroom apartment are about $690 and include utilities.
  • If you are age 62 or older and make between $43,300 and $64,400, you may qualify to live at Larrabee Heights at 20 Liza Harmon Drive. These two-bedroom apartments have an attached garage. Rent is $910 and excludes heat.

What family housing does Westbrook Housing offer?

We have two buildings of two- and three-bedroom apartments for families:

  • Golder Commons, at 6 Lincoln St., has 34 apartments. The minimum household income is around $22,000 and monthly rents, which include utilities, range (depending on income) from $750 to $900 for a two-bedroom apartment, to $850 to $1,020 for a three-bedroom apartment.
  • School House Commons, at 87 Bridge St., is a Section 8-based building with eight two- and three-bedroom apartments. Rent is about 30% of a household’s income. Check with us to see if we are accepting applications for School House Commons.

Are your apartments wheelchair-accessible?

Yes, all of our apartments, except School House Commons, are wheelchair accessible and have elevators. All apartments in Larrabee Village have roll-in showers. There are a limited number of units with roll-in showers at Spring Crossing, Mill Brook Estates, Presumpscot Commons, and Golder Commons.

What if my application is rejected?

On what grounds can Westbrook Housing reject my application?

We may reject your application if you have an extensive criminal history or poor landlord references. We will send you a letter explaining why you were rejected and explain how you can appeal the decision.

Can I appeal a rejection?

Yes, however you must request a hearing in writing to appeal the decision within 14 days of being notified of your rejection. All inquiries should be directed to the Property Management department. You can mail or fax (854-6754) your request for a hearing.

What if I need to reschedule the hearing?

Rescheduling is permitted only for “good cause.” Some examples are circumstances related to a disability, medical emergencies, medical treatments, or important appointments that cannot be rescheduled such as court appearances. Transportation issues or other mere inconveniences will not be considered good cause to reschedule.

What should I bring with me to the hearing?

You should bring any documents that relate to the action you are appealing. For example, you may present letters of recommendation, documentation relating to your claim, and witnesses who can provide relevant information to your appeal. Be aware that if you do not have all relevant documents at the time of the hearing, the Hearing Officer may not grant you additional time to submit them. You should make every effort to prepare for the hearing by gathering all relevant documents

Can I bring anyone to the hearing with me?

Yes. You may bring an advocate, attorney, case manager, or any other person you wish to represent you or help you during the hearing. You may also bring any person for “moral support,” such as a friend or family member. If you cannot arrange for child care, you may bring your child(ren).

When will a decision be made and who decides?

After the hearing and the conclusion of any extension period, the Hearing Officer will review all documents submitted, the testimony of any witnesses, and all of the statements you made during the hearing. The Hearing Officer will also review all applicable Westbrook Housing policies and federal and/or Maine regulations to determine whether to uphold or reverse the decision made regarding your application. A written decision should be mailed within three weeks of the hearing date or conclusion of the extension period.

What happens when I reach the top of the wait list?

Once I reach the top of the list, what happens?

A property manager will call you and show you the available apartment. If you want to move into the apartment, you will be screened to make sure you meet the requirements of the housing program.

What is involved in a screening?

You will be asked for landlord references and you and family members age 18 and older will undergo criminal background checks. Your household income may be verified to make sure you meet the housing program’s requirements. These screening requirements are required by Westbrook Housing and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) regulations.

All household members must supply these documents:

  • Birth certificates
  • Social Security card or documentation that a card has not been issued
  • Documentation of United States citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status
  • Proof of annual income
  • Proof of assets (checking and savings, for example)
Paying the security deposit

What do I pay when I move in?

When you sign the lease, you will pay your first month’s rent (or a pro-rated amount if you move in mid-month) and a security deposit that is roughly equal to one month’s rent. If you don’t have enough cash on hand to pay the security deposit, you can set up a monthly payment plan that can last up to 10 months.

Will I get the security deposit back?

If you follow your lease rules (such as live here for at least 12 months, give a 30-day written notice before you move out, and don’t damage your apartment) you should get your security deposit back. Your security deposit cannot be used as your last month’s rent.

Are pets allowed?

Each building has different pet requirements. Nearly all allow one cat. Dogs are permitted in some buildings as long as they are under 20 pounds. If you have a pet, you will have to pay a $300 deposit to cover any potential damages. This deposit can also be paid through a payment plan. You will get this deposit back if there is no damage.