Information for Tenants & Homeowners

Eligible households can have unpaid rent covered, as well as some future rent. Homeowners are eligible for a different level of benefits. Federal immigration status has no impact on eligibility for most of this funding. In order to be eligible, a household must:

  • Currently rent or own housing as a primary residence in Massachusetts
  • Have a gross household income under 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Income eligibility will be based on current income. AMI varies by region of the state.
  • Applicants do not need to be behind on payments to apply if they provide documentation that COVID-19 has affected their future ability to pay. 
  • Applicants do not need a notice to quit, court summons, or utility shut-off notice to apply. 

 

I’m ready to apply. What do I do?

  • Select the community you live in (or, if you are moving, the community you are moving to) from the drop-down to find your Regional Administering Agency. If you are moving, you must have an apartment lined up before starting the process. If you move in before your application is approved, you will no longer be eligible for assistance.
  • Fully complete the application. This includes providing documentation (see list below). Incomplete applications take longer to process than completed applications.
  • Make sure to respond to RAA staff in a timely manner. Check your email frequently. If you do not respond within 10 days, your application will be closed out.
  • Notify your landlord or lender you have applied for assistance, as they will need to provide the following documents in order to receive payment: W-9 for property owner or authorized agent of the property owner, like a property manager and proof of ownership for unit. Try to pay what you can. Even with the federal eviction moratorium in place, you are still responsible for your housing payment and making partial payments shows a good faith effort to your landlord or lender. See the FAQs for more information on how to ensure you are covered by the federal moratorium. If you are a homeowner, it is important that you contact your mortgage servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to let them know about your current circumstances.
  • Have patience. There are thousands of households in need. Regional Administering Agencies are reviewing applications as quickly as possible. Upon applying you should receive confirmation (it may be automated) that the application has been received. While it is tempting to call and check on the status of your application, please note that this only diverts staff from processing applications and slows how quickly they will get to your application. This is a challenging time and your patience is appreciated. 
  • You may also be eligible for local Emergency Rental Assistance. Take a look at this database to see if your community has a local program and how to apply.

 

Documentation required for application:

What do I need to apply? To qualify:

  • You must have an income no more than 80 percent of area median income (AMI)
  • A member of the household must show that they:
    • have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19
    • have a risk of homelessness or housing instability.
  • The following required documents:
    • Identity for head of household - This document will need to include the head of household’s full name and date of birth. Examples include a state issued driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport
    • Verification of current housing
      • For Renters: Lease, tenancy agreement, or tenancy at-will form
      • For homeowners: Copy of mortgage statement. 
    • Verification of eligible housing crisis (provide all which apply to you)
      • For renters:
        • Notice of arrears or balance overdue
        • Court summons
        • Notice to quit
        • Notice of eviction
        • Letter from host if doubled up
      • For homeowners: Notice of mortgage arrears or account statement issued by lender with verification of amount overdue. 
    • Verification of income
      • Households verified as active participants in MassHealth or DTA benefit programs (SNAP, TAFDC, EAEDC, SSI, SSP) will be automatically determined income-eligible for ERAP. Households who provide an eligibility determination letter, dated on or after January 1, 2020, for one of the following benefits will also be determined income-eligible for ERAP:
        • Public housing (state or federal)
        • Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)
        • State housing vouchers: MRVP, AHVP, DMH, or DDS housing vouchers
        • LIHEAP
        • Massachusetts subsidized childcare
        • Veterans Chapter 115 benefits
      • Annual income may be verified by 2020 Form 1040 (s); OR
      • Monthly income may be verified by two paystubs from the past 60 days, plus most recent benefit letters (social security, child support, unemployment, etc.)
    • If working with a case worker or advocate, complete the authorization of agent form so that they can help you apply.

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