COVID-19 DHCD Website

Please use this page as a resource, we will continue updating it with DHCD guidance and information related to our programs.


Click here for detailed information on Rental Assistance and COVID-19

Homeowners may be eligible for assistance through the state’s Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF).  Learn more about HAF here.


The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has introduced new programming and guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our normal operations.

On this page, you can find guidance for partners from our Local Housing Authorities, private landlords, Regional Administering Agencies, service providers, municipalities, and more.

Additionally, information for grants and funding through the federal CARES Act can be accessed below.

If you are looking for more information about financial assistance for households struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19, please visit this site for more information about our RAFT and ERAP programs.

Table of Contents

Guidance for Private Affordable Housing Operators and Owners

DHCD has released guidance to operators and owners of private, affordable housing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which you can find below.

Additional Resources

Guidance for State-Aided Public Housing

DHCD oversees more than 200 Local Housing Authorities across Massachusetts, covering a portfolio of more than 45,000 units of state-aided public housing. Here you can find all of the Public Housing Notices that DHCD has released regarding COVID-19. For all Public Housing Notices, please visit this page

2020-41: December 2020 COVID Relief Bill and State-Aided Public Housing
2020-33 COVID 19 response Updated Recommendations
2020-32 Eviction Prevention Guidance
      Model Pending Case Letter
      Model Non-Payment Notice
      Model Out of Court Repayment Agreement
      CDC Declaration Form
2020-27 Recommendations for Safe Reopening in Phase III
       Health and Safety Inspection LHA Instructions
       Health & Safety Inspection Form Template
2020-24 Design and Funding Guidelines for Adapting LHA Office Spaces for Social Distancing and Indoor Air Quality
2020-23 Phase I & II Reopening Guidance
2020-21A Rent Policy During COVID-19 Emergency
       Addendum #1 Q&A
       Rent Scenarios
       Regulator Waiver on Late Fees and Interest
       Regulatory Waiver on Rent Increases
2020-20 Restricting Access to High-Risk Developments
       EOEA Homecare Essential Employees
       Malden Board of Health Order Restricting Visitors at MHA Properties
       Template Holder Agreement
2020-16 Remote Public Meetings During COVID-19
2020-15 Resident Services Resources
       Self Sufficiency Program Questions and Answers
2020-14 Procuring Supplies & Services Related to COVID-19
       OSD Products and Services Bulletin
2020-13 Preparing for and Responding to COVID-19 Case in Public Housing
       Addendum #1 COVID-19 Lease Addendum for Quarantine Units
       COVID-19 Disclosure Permission Log
2020-12 Guidance on Evictions and Rent Redetermination
2020-11 Operational Guidance for COVID-19
       Coronavirus Questionnaire for Public ENG-SPA 3-15
       Coronavirus Questionnaire Instructions for Work Orders 3-16
       COVID-19 Building Visitor Log
       Coronavirus Resident Notice Template
2020-10 Capital projects During Covid-19
2020-09 Interim Redeterminations
2020-08 DHCD Oversight During COVID-19
      PHN 2020-08 Addendum #1
2020-07 COVID-19 Information Memo

Guidance for Rental Voucher Holders and Administering Agencies

The Division of Rental Assistance has issued guidance to administering agencies on rent re-certification, a right for any tenant using the following rental vouchers: MRVP, AHVP, and federal vouchers within DHCD’s portfolio. If you have experienced a loss of income, and utilize one of these vouchers, you can apply at any time to have your rent contribution re-calculated by your administering agency.

Please see further guidance below for administering agencies on the suspension of termination in nonessential circumstances for voucher holders.

Additional Resources

Guidance for Family and Individual Shelter Providers

The Division of Housing Stabilization (DHS) oversees the state’s response to family homelessness, through our Emergency Assistance Program, and provides funding to individual shelters across the Commonwealth.

Please find here the guidance DHCD and DHS has distributed to family and individual shelter providers.

Additional Resources

Guidance on Construction

please see link below

Additional Resources

Resources and Guidance for Municipalities

Announcing Local Rapid Recovery Planning Assistance to Revitalize Downtowns 

Apply Now

The Mass Downtown Initiative is accepting applications for Local Rapid Recovery Planning (LRRP) which is part of the Recovery Plan to revitalize downtowns, respond to the effects of COVID-19 on local businesses, and prioritize actions and strategies.  All 351 Massachusetts cities and towns are eligible to apply.  Nonprofit entities such as Business Improvement Districts, Main Street organizations or Community Development Corporations are also eligible to lead the planning process with local government support.  The short application form is due on December 18, 2020 by 3:00 p.m.  

The LRRP program provides technical assistance by consultant teams with expertise in effective strategies to stabilize business districts. There is no direct funding available through this program, applicants will be matched with consultant team(s).  There is a total of $9.5 million in technical assistance available, we encourage every interested applicant, whether from a small town center or a group of business districts within a large city, to learn more and to apply.  LRRP projects must be completed by June 30, 2021.  

Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI)

DHCD’s Community Services Division provides funding and technical assistance to cities and towns on a variety of development and local issues. Please find a variety of resources for municipalities in this section.

Below find a FAQ and information related to the Major Disaster Declaration issued on March 20, 2020 and federal reimbursement for COVID-19 related costs incurred by affected local governments. For more information related to the federal CARES Act and community services, please refer to the Federal CARES Act Policy Changes and Funding Program Information subsection on this page

DHCD is partnering with Massachusetts Housing Partnership and Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) to provide best practices and technical assistance to Massachusetts municipalities regarding locally-funded emergency rental assistance programs to respond to COVID-19 (funded by CPA, CDBG, or Affordable Housing Trusts). In May 2020, DHCD and partners published a survey of locally funded emergency rental assistance programs and continues to update the database as a part of Mass Housing Partnership’s Massachusetts Housing Toolbox. A follow up survey is being conducted in October 2020 to provide information about these local Emergency Rental Assistance programs.  Results will be posted at the Massachusetts Housing Toolbox site. 

We Invite municipalities to use these new resources and visit the Massachusetts Housing Toolbox at the link below.

Additional Resources

Federal CARES Act Policy Changes and Funding Program Information


Included in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act are funding programs that will supplement the state and local response to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as several policy changes that impact Massachusetts residents. For further information on new funding opportunities related to federal programs managed by DHCD, please visit the following websites. EOHED and DHCD will continue to update both sites:

Community Services and State/Municipal Supports in the CARES Act for CDBG, CSBG, LIHEAP, and other programs.

Housing in the CARES Act for ESG, HOPWA, Public Housing Operating Funds, and more.

CDBG Substantial Amendment #2 - Federal CARES Act Update 9/11/20

Emergency Shelter Assistance Programs

During the Covid-19 crisis, DHCD field offices will not be open to the public for in person applications.

To apply for Emergency Assistance and speak with a Homeless Coordinator please call (866) 584-0653

Guidance for Tenants: Eviction Moratorium in Massachusetts

The temporary moratorium on non-essential evictions and foreclosures expired on October 17, 2020.

If you are a tenant having trouble paying rent, or seeking additional housing resources, please reference the links below.

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