The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) stopped accepting applications on April 15, 2022. Households can still apply for rental assistance from the more targeted, state-funded 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 provides qualifying households with up to $7,000 per year to preserve current housing or move to new housing. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent, as well as forward rent in limited situations. Renters or landlords can apply by submitting an online application.
RAFT does not serve homeowners. Homeowners may access mortgage and other assistance through the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).
The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program ended on December 31, 2021. Homeowners may be eligible for assistance through the Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF). To learn more about eligibility, resources and apply, homeowners can visit www.massmortgagehelp.org.
in Rental or Mortgage Assistance provided this year
individuals provided with Rental or Mortgage Assistance
applications submitted through our new online option
RAFT Maximum Annual Income Eligibility – Middlesex and Essex Counties
Annual Income Limits apply to the Merrimack Valley and include the following cities/towns: Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport, No. Andover, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, West Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury and Westford.
In order to be eligible for mortgage assistance, a household must:
- currently rent or own housing as a primary residence in Massachusetts
- have a gross household income that is between the 50% and 80% Area Median Income (AMI)
- have a housing emergency due to a financial hardship related to or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis
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If you think you might be eligible for RAFT, complete the online Massachusetts Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Application.
You will need the following documents to submit your application:
- Photo ID (required in order to submit OR a copy of your birth certificate)
- ID for the head of household
- Proof of housing crisis (for example an eviction notice or letter saying you are behind on rent)
- Proof of housing (for example a lease or mortgage)
- Proof of income (for example paystubs)
For landlords, a tenant consent form will be needed.
CTI cannot accept paper applications unless there are extenuating circumstances.
We do recognize there will be circumstances that someone will need a paper application however this has to be done through the Resource Center who is helping the RAFT program by discussing these circumstances with the client. When a client needs help completing a RAFT application because they do not have access to technology, we have staff who can assist them by appointment only. Clients must contact the Resource Center 978-459-0551 who will guide them in the right direction.
At this time, the MA Emergency Housing payment Assistance Application is not accepting applications from homeowners. Homeowners in need of mortgage assistance or other housing assistance may apply for the new Homeowner Assistance Fund (MA HAF) Program. Please visit this link to learn more about HAF and to see if you may be eligible. To apply to Mass HAF, visit www.massmortgagehelp.org.
- Click here to learn more about Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Programs
- Click here to learn more about submitting a complete application, eligibility and required documents
- Facing Eviction resources (financial/legal/mediation help)
151b LANDLORD LANGUAGE – DISCRIMINATION BY A LANDLORD IS PROHIBITED
Landlords should be aware that Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws prohibits discrimination by a landlord against any tenant receiving federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including rental assistance or rental supplements, because the individual is such a recipient.
A landlord’s refusal to accept emergency rental assistance, that covers the entire amount owed to the landlord, may, in some circumstances, constitute a violation of Chapter 151B. Landlords should consult their own legal counsel for advice before declining rental assistance that covers all outstanding rent arrears.
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