Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program provides short-term emergency funding to help you with eviction, foreclosure, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies.

RAFT Portal & Regional Administering Agencies (RAAs)

Massachusetts 2-1-1

Phone

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.

The Details of Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

What is RAFT? for Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

RAFT provides up to $7,000 per 12-month period so your family can stay in your current home or move to a new one. You may use the money for rent, utilities, moving costs, and mortgage payments.

Learn more about RAFT and other housing resources by dialing 211, contacting one of the Regional Agencies that manage RAFT applications, or contacting your local  Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC).

Eligibility

You may be eligible for RAFT if: 

  • You’re at risk of homelessness or losing your housing (for example, you received a Notice to Quit or an eviction notice; you're behind on your mortgage; you received a utility shutoff notice; or you can't stay in your home due to health, safety, or other reasons)

  • Your income is less than 50% of your city/town's Area Median Income (AMI)  

  • Your income is less than 60% of your city/town's AMI AND you are at risk of domestic violence 

Check your town’s Area Median Income (AMI) 

Use this eligibility checker to see if you're eligible:

 

What you need

Gather these documents before you apply:

  1. ID for Head of Household (such as a state issued driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport)
  2. Proof of Current Housing (such as a lease, tenancy agreement, or tenancy at will agreement)
  3. Verification of Housing Crisis (such as a Notice to Quit, proof that you are behind on your mortgage, an eviction notice, a utility shutoff notice, or documentation showing that you can't stay in your current home due to health, safety, or other reasons)
  4. Income Verification. After you apply, we'll need to verify your income. We'll try to do this automatically when you apply. If we can't, we may ask you to upload your income documents.
  5. Your landlord will need to complete a landlord application. After you submit your application, let your landlord or property manager know as soon as possible. They will also need to submit an application to complete the application process. If they don't submit within 21 days, your application will time out, and you'll have to reapply. 

 

How to apply Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

You can apply or check an application's status through the Massachusetts Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Portal.

The RAFT application takes 20-30 minutes to complete. 

ID.me identity verification: The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities has partnered with ID.me to verify the identity of households applying for RAFT. If you are selected to verify your identity, you will receive an email with instructions for completing the ID.me verification process. If you think your identity has been compromised, you can report identify theft.

Next steps for Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

  1. Application review & submitting additional documents

    Once you submit your application, a Regional Administering Agency (RAA) or the Rental Assistance Processing Center (RAP Center) will review it. If it's missing something, staff will email you with a deadline for what is missing. The email will also tell you how to update your application. 

    To check which agency is processing your application:

    1. Visit the Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Portal 
    2. Click “APPLY NOW" to log into your account
    3. After you log in, click "RESUME/TRACK STATUS"
    4. Click the 3 black dots to the right of your case number to show "View Case Summary"
    5. Click "View Case Summary" to see the name of the Regional Administering Agency (RAA) that is assigned to your application

    You can also use the Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Portal to upload additional documents after your application is submitted. You must have your login and application number in order to submit documents or to determine which agency is processing your application.  

  2. How long does the review take?

    It usually takes fewer than 30 days to get a response after you submit a RAFT application. Applications with all required information and documentation will be processed more quickly.

  3. If your application is denied

    If your application is denied, you'll get an email about the decision. This email will include steps for asking the RAA to review their decision.

  4. Tracking payments to your landlord

    You'll receive an email saying your application has been approved and that the RAA is processing the payment to your landlord. If your landlord also had to submit an application (for rent, for example), then they can log in to the Housing Assistance Portal and check the payment's status. Payments usually go out within 14 business days of your application being approved. 

Mediation between you and your landlord for Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

Massachusetts Community Mediation Centers offer free pre-court mediation between landlords and tenants for lease disputes (and for eviction cases). 

Mediation is confidential, voluntary, and non-judgmental. A neutral third party (the mediator) will help you and your landlord resolve your differences based on what's important to you both. This may be crucial for your application, since your landlord must take action for you to receive financial assistance.

Contact for Apply for RAFT (emergency help for housing costs)

Phone

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.

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