Emergency housing assistance during COVID-19
The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Community's federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Subsidized Housing Emergency Rental Assistance (SHERA) stopped taking new applications on April 15, 2022. Applications received by April 15th, 2022 will be considered for ERAP until all funds have been allocated. Applications for rental assistance received after April 15th will be considered for assistance under the more targeted state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, subject to funding availability. Households can apply by submitting an online application. The state RAFT program may provide up to $10,000 for rent and other housing costs, including moving expenses. Homeowners can continue to access the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).
For more information on the federal ERAP, SHERA, and ERMA programs, please visit this page.
Details on Emergency Housing Payment Assistance
Are your tenants behind on rent? They may be eligible for assistance from the state that will send rent payments directly to you, the landlord.
Low-income tenants may be eligible to receive help with paying their rent through the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) and regional administering agencies. The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program may provide income-eligible households with up to $10,000 to pay utilities or moving costs, overdue rent, or future rent in limited situations, and once approved, these payments are sent directly to landlords.
It is very important landlords coordinate with tenants before they apply for rental assistance. Landlords must obtain and submit a signed tenant consent form before applying for assistance. Landlords should also check general income eligibility for programs. Tenant income eligibility limit for assistance is 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI), or 60% of AMI for households who are at risk of domestic violence. Check AMI limits in your city/town.
If you are a landlord and you believe your tenant may be eligible for rental assistance, you should:
Learn about the RAFT program and other available resources. You can find more information below.
- Find the regional agency is your area, and determine income eligibility for the metro area of your property.
- Find out whether your tenant has already submitted an application for rental assistance.
If your tenant has not previously applied for rental assistance, start an application by asking for your tenant to sign the required consent form that is available through the regional agency.
Details on the RAFT program
Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program
The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. RAFT helps all kinds of households by providing up to $10,000, within a 12-month period, to help preserve current housing or move to new housing. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent costs, as well as forward rent in limited situations.
Mediation and Legal Assistance for Landlords and Tenants
There are two additional tools for landlords and tenants to prevent an eviction. Community mediation and free or low-cost legal assistance for eligible parties can help landlords work with tenants to avoid eviction.
Tenants and landlords can use mediation to resolve their problems without any court filing, or through court referrals.
Both programs can be used in coordination with short-term rental assistance such as RAFT or local sources of financial aid, but it is not necessary to apply for RAFT in order to participate.