ESG Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing


The Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG) is a federally-funded program designed to prevent homeless and minimize the duration of shelter stays for households experiencing homelessness. Each year, Massachusetts receives funding through the program which is then allocated by DHCD to organizations throughout the state who administer shelter support, homelessness prevention, and rapid re-housing programs.

Homelessness Prevention (HP) programs provide temporary rental and utility assistance to households at imminent risk of becoming homeless and without options for living with family, friends, or other support networks. Households at risk of eviction have the opportunity to work with housing advocates who can negotiate with landlords and provide support in housing court to outline a plan and timeline for repaying rental or mortgage arrearages.

Rapid Re-housing (RRH) programs help families who are currently homeless to quickly find housing and then provide assistance to cover rental start-up costs, typically the security deposit and first 2-6 months of rent.

Homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programs will also provide some form of case management or follow-up service and referrals as needed with the goal that households receiving assistance through this program remain stable once they are no longer receiving financial assistance.


To receive Homelessness Prevention assistance through ESG, an individual/household must:

  • Have an annual income below 30% of area median income (AMI). Income limits are calculated annually by HUD and reported here.
  • AND, Must be “at risk of homelessness”
  • AND, Must lack resources and/or support networks, e.g., family, friends, faith-based or other social networks, necessary to prevent homelessness.

To receive Rapid Re-Housing assistance through ESG, an individual/household must:

State and local government, and agencies disbursing ESG funds, may establish additional eligibility requirements or procedures specific to their service area.

How to Apply

The table below includes contact information and services areas for agencies administering either HP or RRH programs. Most agencies will conduct an intake over the phone or meet with households in person to determine eligibility.

Agency Name Service Area Phone Website
Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority Pittsfield (413) 443-7138 (here)
Brookline Community Mental Health Center Brookline, Newton, Waltham, Watertown (617) 277-8107 (here)
Catholic Charities Springfield, Hampden/Hampshire counties (413) 452-0605 (here)
Catholic Social Services Fall River, Bristol county (508) 674-4681 (here)
Catholic Social Services Fall River, Bristol county (508) 674-4681 (here)
City of Cambridge Multi-Service Center Cambridge (617) 349-6340 (here)
Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) City of Worcester only (774) 243-3834 (here)
Community Action Pioneer Valley Greenfield, Franklin County (413) 475-1570 (here)
Community Action Pioneer Valley Orange, North Quabbin region (North Worcester County) (978) 544-8091 (here)
Community Action Pioneer Valley Northampton, Hampshire County (413) 582-4237 (here)
Community Action Pioneer Valley Ware/Belchertown (413) 967-4920 (here)
Community Teamwork (CTI) Lowell, Northern Middlesex County (978) 459-0551 (here)
Community Teamwork (CTI) Lawrence, Northern Essex County (978) 681-4905 (here)
Emmaus North Shore (978) 241-3400 (here)
Father Bill's/Mainspring Quincy (774) 257-0976 (here)
Father Bill's/Mainspring Brockton (774) 297-9429 (here)
Friendly House Greater Worcester (508) 755-2212 (here)
HomeStart Boston See website (here)
Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) Cape Cod & Islands (508) 771-5400 (here)
Just A Start Cambridge, Metro North, Metro West, Malden, Medford, Everett (617) 918-7518 (here)
Lynn Housing & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) Lynn (781) 581-8608 (here)
Our Fathers House Northern Worcester County (978) 855-5184 (here)
SMOC Framingham (508) 620-2630 (here)
Somerville Homeless Coalition Somerville (617) 623-6111 (here)
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