HomeBASE

HomeBASE helps families who are eligible for EA Emergency Family Shelter find stable housing.

HomeBASE helps families who have been found eligible for EA Family Shelter by providing up to $30,000 over a 2-year period, with the possibility of a 3rd year of help. If your family is found eligible for the EA Family Shelter program, you may be invited to apply.

House-lined Street

Table of Contents

What can HomeBASE pay for?

If you are eligible for HomeBASE, it can pay for: 

  1. Monthly payments to help with rent for up to 3 years for your own apartment, living with a host or co-sharing an apartment. 
  2. First and last month's rent, security deposit, and broker’s fee for a new apartment
  3. Rent and utility arrears: HomeBASE can pay up to $5,000 for outstanding rent or utilities arrears, if the debt is stopping you from signing a new lease.
  4. Furniture: $2,500 is available to help your family buy beds and/or a kitchen table and chairs.
  5. Moving expenses (in-state and out of state moving expense details below)

In addition to financial resources, HomeBASE provides a case manager who helps each family find community supports for education, job training, finding a job, and childcare.

How will my rent be paid? 

With HomeBASE, you will pay at least 30% of your gross monthly income toward rent. How much of the rent you pay is unique to the plan you create with your case manager. It can change as your circumstances change. The goal is to stretch the benefit as long as possible, while you stabilize your income. 

HomeBASE pays the remainder of the rent to a landlord or vendor (like a moving or utility company) directly. Landlords or property managers will also need to complete an application in order for HomeBASE to help pay your rent.

Are you a landlord? 

Who Is Eligible for HomeBASE?

There is no open application for HomeBASE. Eligible families will be invited to apply. 

You're eligible if:

  • Your family is living in EA Emergency Family Shelter
  • Your family is eligible for EA Emergency Family Shelter but not living there yet. This means you've provided all required documentation. (You will be referred to HomeBASE and someone from the program will contact you within 24 hours.)
  • Families living in non-EA domestic violence shelters and residential use treatment programs may be eligible for HomeBASE

To be eligible for EA (and HomeBASE) families must:

  1. Be a resident of Massachusetts
  2. Meet the program income standards
  3. Have children under the age of 21, or be pregnant
  4. Be homeless due to:
    • No-fault fire, flood, natural disaster, condemnation, or foreclosure
    • Fleeing domestic violence
    • No-fault eviction
    • Child is exposed to a serious health and safety risk

Is there a separate application for HomeBASE?

No. If you applied for EA Emergency Family Shelter, you do not need to complete any other application. A diversion provider will call or email you. They will help you complete the forms required to receive HomeBASE benefits.

What types of housing can HomeBASE pay for?

When using HomeBASE, you will pay at least 30% of your gross monthly income toward rent. How much of the rent you pay is unique to your Re-Housing Plan. 

Get your own apartment

  • HomeBASE can help pay your rent. 
  • Payments are made directly to the property owner or landlord.

Live with a Host

  • HomeBASE can pay a homeowner or renter that you know to host you.
  • HomeBASE may cover up to 50% of the sublet rental cost or utilities/mortgage.
  • If you plan to live with a renter, they will need written and notarized landlord permission.
  • If you plan to live with a homeowner, they will need to sign a host agreement to ensure safe conditions and enough bedrooms.

Co-Share an Apartment

  • HomeBASE can also help to pay for rent and utilities, if you share an apartment.
  • The EA family receiving HomeBASE is responsible for paying an equal or lesser proportion of costs (including move-in and monthly rent costs) based on the number of households sharing the unit. If there are three families for instance, the EA family would pay up to 1/3 of costs.

Can I access HomeBASE if I am on the EA Waitlist?

You could be eligible for HomeBASE even if you are on the EA shelter waitlist. You are eligible for HomeBASE if your family is eligible for EA Emergency Family Shelter but not living there yet. This means you've provided ALL required documentation. 

What is a "diversion"?

Diversion means that you are finding stable housing instead of going to an EA Emergency Family shelter. A diversion provider is an organization that supports families as they find housing. 

What if I'm on the EA Waitlist and want information about HomeBASE and the Diversion Program? 

Please call or email your state contact if you did not receive information about HomeBASE AND you are eligible for EA Emergency Family Shelter. By phone we can be reached at 866-584-0653, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (closed on weekends and state holidays).

Once you are referred to a diversion provider, they will call or email you within 24 hours (unless you contact us on a Friday, in which case you will be contacted the following Monday). You do not need to call anyone – they will call you. Please share the best phone number to reach you.

Can I access HomeBASE if I am in shelter now?

Yes, HomeBASE is a tool that can help families living in shelter to transition to stable housing. 

Please work with staff at your shelter or your case worker to get more information.

Do I maintain my homeless priority for subsidized housing while using HomeBASE?

For state public housing and vouchers (MRVP), you maintain your homeless status when you accept HomeBASE. You do not for federally funded units and vouchers.

Do I need to currently have income to use HomeBASE?

You don’t need to have income now to get started using HomeBASE. You can work with your case manager on increasing your income once you are safely housed.

Can HomeBASE help with moving costs?

HomeBASE can help make your move possible, by paying moving costs, including… 

For an in-state move:

  • First month's rent, last month's rent, security deposit costs, moving vans, bus tickets, (+ ongoing rental assistance for up to 3 years)

For an out-of-state move (not out of country):

  • First month's rent, last month's rent, and security deposit costs, bus or air travel costs; **no ongoing rental assistance**

Related Resources

Low-income households with or without children can apply to the RAFT Program. RAFT pays up to $7,000 to help with rent, mortgage, utilities and other housing costs, including moving to new housing.

Visit Findhelp.org to food, housing, transportation, and more in your area.

Call Mass2-1-1's free state hotline (dial 2-1-1 on your phone) for information on childcare, food, transportation, utility assistance, and housing.

You can also visit a Find Family Resource Centers (across the state), which support families in accessing basic needs and resources.

Contact   for HomeBASE

Phone

Open M-F 8am-5pm - Closed on State Holidays

Address

Offices across the state - Please see list on 'Apply for EA' webpage, Statewide, MA 02114

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.
Feedback