How to Apply for RAFT

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

Table of Contents

Check your eligibility

What you need

The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, foreclosure, 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, mortgage arrears 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 Notice to Quit, mortgage arrears, an eviction notice, a utility shutoff notice, or documentation showing an inability to stay in your current home due to health, safety, or other reasons)
  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. They will attempt to do this automatically through a data match with other benefits programs and will reach out to you to provide income documents if necessary.

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 RAFT. Landlords or property management will be needed to complete the process.

How to apply online

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), or no more than 60 percent of the AMI if at risk of domestic violence, 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 Massachusetts Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Portal.

More information

Application Portal Resources

Tenant Portal Reference Guide

Access to free legal help

Regional legal aid programs assist low-income tenants with referrals, legal information, and legal representation for evictions statewide. Click here for more information or visit this resource locator 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 RAFT


For application status updates, check the RAFT portal: For specific questions, contact the org. processing your app. (found in the portal AND on the application receipt). If it is an RAA, you can look up their contact here. Regional Admin Agency Lookup 


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

All calls are free and confidential.

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