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Eviction Diversion Initiative: Focused Grassroots Outreach 

A local team of trained community residents are helping spread the word about the state’s emergency housing payment assistance programs, increase awareness of how to submit a complete application for assistance, and improve access to available rent and utilities aid in communities across the Commonwealth through a seventeen-week outreach and media campaign.

Through the Eviction Diversion Initiative, DHCD has contracted with Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG) to conduct a focused grassroots outreach campaign about the state’s emergency housing payment assistance programs: the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. Households can apply to both programs through a single centralized application.  

To spread the word and connect with households in need of rent or utilities assistance, ASG is partnering with community organizations and local residents to implement a three-pronged outreach campaign from October 2021 to January 2021. This includes canvassing in communities around the state, a multilingual call center to help households submit complete applications for assistance, and a multilingual, multiplatform media campaign. 

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ASG Grassroots Canvassing Outreach

ASG works in 22 communities across the state, including Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Somerville, Springfield, and Worcester. DHCD identified these communities through a multi-criteria analysis factoring in numbers of cost burdened and racial/ethnic minority renters, employment in industries hard-hit by COVID-19, and distribution of emergency housing assistance. ASG and its partners will canvas in these 22 communities to provide local residents with vital information on how to access the state’s emergency housing payment assistance programs.   

ASG conducts grassroots outreach with its staff, local residents, and community-based organizations (CBOs) as trusted voices to educate households about the availability of emergency housing payment assistance. ASG sub-contracts with community-based organizations in some regions of the Commonwealth and also works with volunteer CBO partners to support these efforts.  

If your organization would like to participate in this grassroots canvassing outreach as a volunteer partner, please contact ASG’s Director of Community Engagement, Melanie Torres (   

ASG Call Center and Media Campaign 

In addition to canvassing, ASG is running a multilingual call center to help households in Massachusetts complete an application for emergency housing payment assistance. ASG Call Center agents speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, and have access to a language line with translation/interpretation services for other key linguistic communities. The goal of the ASG Call Center is to assist callers with navigating, filling out, and submitting a complete application with all necessary documentation.  

  • ASG Call Center: 1-800- 474-1822 

  • Call center hours are Monday – Friday from 9 am to 8:30 pm 

  • The Call Center will operate from Oct. 8, 2021 until January 31, 2022--call now to get assistance with your application for emergency housing payment assistance. 

To spread the word about the call center and share information with community residents about available assistance for rent and utilities, ASG launched a multilingual media campaign in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Cape Verdean Kriolu, Hatian Creole, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Khmer. The campaign consists of advertisements on digital media (Google and Facebook), as well as legacy media platforms, local newspapers, and community radio.

Marketing materials for ASG EDI campaign in English
Marketing materials for ASG EDI campaign in Khmer
Marketing materials for ASG EDI campaign in Cape Verdean