How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

Massachusetts has programs to help you with rent or other housing costs when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. Learn how to submit a complete application below.

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The Details of How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

What you need for How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

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You must submit a complete application with all required documents to receive benefits.

Additionally, we encourage tenants to reach out early to their landlords and inform them about their application for emergency housing payment assistance. Landlords or property management will be needed to complete the process.

Check your eligibility using this tool:

The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies caused by loss of income, increase in expenses, or both. RAFT helps all kinds of households by providing up to $7,000 per household to help preserve current housing or move to new housing. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent costs, as well as future rent in limited situations.

The following documentation is required to 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 statement of rent arrears, a Notice to Quit, an eviction notice, a utility shutoff notice, or documentation showing an inability to stay in your current home)
  4. Income Verification. In addition, after you apply, the Regional Administering Agency (RAA) or Rental Assistance Processing (RAP) Center processing your application will need to verify your income.

Your landlord will also be asked to provide information before you receive benefits.

Translations for How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

How to apply How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

Before applying, determine if you are qualified to apply: To qualify for rental assistance in Massachusetts, you must have an income no more than 50 percent of the area median income or AMI (review AMI limits for your community) and must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

 If you are eligible and have collected your required documentation, you can apply directly through the Central Application.

More info for How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

Central Application Resources and FAQs

Central Application User Guide

Central Application Portal Guide

Visit this site for resources on the Central Application

Access to free legal help

Regional legal aid programs assist low-income tenants with referrals, legal information, and legal representation for evictions statewide. See https://www.mass.gov/info-details/eviction-diversion-initiative-legal-services-and-mediation for more information or go to https://hedfuel.azurewebsites.net/ to find a legal aid program near you. 

A lawyer can advise you about the law, refer you to resources, fill out and file court papers, and represent you. A lawyer can help advise you before a case gets to court or if a case is in court. The earlier you contact a lawyer the better.

Mediation between you and your landlord

Massachusetts Community Mediation Centers are offering free pre-court mediation between landlords and tenants for lease disputes in addition to the summary process cases referred through the courts. 

Mediation is a confidential, voluntary and non-judgmental process where a neutral third party (the mediator) helps people resolve differences based on what is important to them.

Help Finding a Job

Need a new job? Interested in a career change? MassHire Career Centers are open and ready to help! They offer skills training and workshops, resume and cover letter preparation, interview readiness and mock interviews, and career counseling and planning.

Contact for How to Apply for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance

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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