Eligible households can receive up to $4,000* in a 12-month period in state funds such as RAFT and ERMA. 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.
*Under a 10/12/2020 announcement from the Baker-Polito Administration, households who qualify for RAFT (not ERMA) can receive up to $10,000. Program guidance about this new amount is forthcoming from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. More information will be made available.
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 RAFT process. If you move in before your RAFT application is approved, you will no longer be eligible for assistance.
- Fully complete the application. This includes providing documentation (see list below).
- Make sure to respond to RAA staff in a timely manner.
- Notify your landlord or lender you have applied for assistance. 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 RAFT/ERMA application:
- All items need to be complete, with signatures of household members 18+ where indicated.
- Identification Documents for head of household (photo ID, Birth certificate, passport)
- Documentation of income from all household members 18+ for the same 30 day period within the previous 60 days from application date.
- For renters: Letter of rental arrearage from property owner with total due and breakdown of months owed.
For homeowners: Notice of mortgage arrears or account statement issued by lender with verification of amount overdue.
- Documentation of either increased expenses or decreased income during the arrearage period.
- For renters: Copy of a lease or rental agreement, or verification of a tenancy at will.
For homeowners: Copy of mortgage statement.