While Massachusetts’s state-wide eviction moratorium puts a temporary hold on evictions through the duration of the crisis (see details here), families who fall behind on rent or mortgage payments now are likely to face an overwhelming arrearage and the potential for eviction once the moratorium is lifted. For families and individuals who have been impacted financially by COVID-19, the moratorium provides a valuable window for connecting with rental assistance opportunities, as well as other services, to ensure that they continue to stay on top of rent and mortgage payments.
Town Emergency Rental Relief Programs
|Town or County||Fund||Overview||Website||Addl Information|
|Acushent, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Marion, Mattapoiset, New Bedford, Rochester, Wareham||Greater New Bedford Covid-19 Response Fund||Grants of up to $1,000 to individuals/households who've lost income due to Covid-19 - may be used for back rent, back mortgage payments, utilities, childcare, or other expenses. Priority is given to low-income, out-of-work service industry workers, and retired or out-of-work seniors >65.||(here)|
|Amesbury||Aid 4 Amesbury||Grants to cover the costs of essential needs including, but not limited to, food, medications, rent, utilities, hygiene health, clothing, childcare, and other basic necessities. Individuals and households can apply once per month.||(here)|
|Amherst||Emergency Assistance Program||Assists with rent arrearages, security deposits, and utility arrearages. Available to "income-eligible" Amherst residents (no details provided on income eligibility guidelines).||(here)||Call the Amherst Health Dept; (413) 259-3077|
|Barnstable; Dukes; Nantucket||Workforce Housing Relief Fund||Provides urgent and ongoing assistance with past due rent or mortgage payments or other housing-related expenses for current, year-round Cape Cod and Island residents who are losing income due to Covid-19.||(here)||Call HAC: (508) 771-5400|
|Berkshire||Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund||Grants of up to $1,000 to individuals in need - contact one of the following orgs: Adams Council on Aging, Berkshire Housing Development Corp, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Community Health Center of the Berkshires, Dalton Community Recreation Assoc, Elder Services of Berkshire Cty, Berkshire Community Action Council, etc (see link)||(here)|
|Boston||Rental Relief Fund||Financial assistance to Boston renters who have lost income due to Covid-19, managed by the Office of Housing Stability and administered in partnership with Metro|Housing and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH). First round of funding has closed, prospective applicants can sign up for updates once additional funding is available.||(here)|
|Brockton||Brockton Together Fund||Grants towards essential needs including, but not limited to, rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity, childcare, medications, and other basic necessities. It will focus on the basic needs of families. Priority will be given to those who are most economically vulnerable to this crisis.||(here)|
|Cambridge||Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund||Payment of one month's rent/mortgage, utilities, or other household needs with a maximum grant of $4000. Call 617‑349‑9797 or apply online.||(here)|
|Cambridge||Cambridge COVID19 Emergency Fund||Grants of $200-1,000 which can complement funding received through the Mayor's Fund. These grants are available to both Cambridge residents and employees.||(here)|
|Chelsea||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Eligible households receive up to 3 months of rental assistance, with a maximum amount of $5,000. Households with incomes below 50% AMI are eligible to apply and funding will be allocated through a lottery.||(here)|
|Chelsea||One Chelsea Fund||$250 grants to cover emergency expenses including housing and utilities, provided through a partnership with United Way and administered by The Chelsea Collaborative, GreenRoots, and The Neighborhood Developers.||(here)|
|Essex; Gloucester; Ipswich; Manchester; Rockport||Action Inc. Short-Term Rental and Mortgage Assistance||Short-term rental and mortgage assistance for renters and homeowners in Gloucester (<80% AMI), Rockport (<80% AMI), Essex (<80% AMI), Manchester (<100% AMI), or Ipswich (<100% AMI) who have recently lost their jobs, been furloughed, or lost significant income due to COVID-19.||(here)||Contact Action Inc.: 978-282-1000|
|Everett||Everett Community Care Fund||Grants for economically vulnerable families to cover essential needs including, but not limited to, rent, food, utilities, childcare, medications, and other basic necessities, organized in partnership with United Way and administered through Everett Haitian Community Center, the Eliot Family Resource Center, La Communidad, Latinos Unidos en Massachusetts (LUMA), and Mystic Valley Elder Services||(here)|
|Framingham||Emergency Income Payment Program||Assistance with up to two months of rent, utility, or mortgage payments for individuals/households who've lost income due to Covid-19. Maximum grant of $5,000||(here)|
|Georgetown||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Assistance with up to three months of rent, for households <80% AMI who've lost income due to Covid-19, and are not receiving other rental assistance. Program pays 50% of rent, up to $1,000/mo - maximum grant of $3,000.||(here)|
|Great Barrington||COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance||Great Barrington's Housing Trust is partnering with Constuct, Inc. to provide rental assistance to households with incomes below 100% AMI.||(here)|
|Haverhill||One Haverhill Fund||Relief grants to cover basic needs, organized by community leaders in Partnership with United Way, details on accessing assistance through this program are yet to be announced, but will be posted to the linked site||(here)|
|Hudson||Hudson’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Provides up to 3 months rental assistance (future or arrearage payments beginning 4/1/20) of $500 per month, to individuals and households earning <80% AMI who've lost income due to Covid-19 and are not receiving other gov't-funded housing assistance (Section 8, RAFT, MRVP, etc) -- initial lottery has taken place, but applicants can be placed on the waitlist for future lotteries as more funding becomes available.||(here)||contact Hudson’s Planning and Community Development (PCD)
office at (978) 562-2989
|Lawrence||One Lawrence Fund||Those who don't qualify for state or federal benefits may qualify for one-time financial support through the Fund of up to $300 in gift cards. Funds are distributed through community partners: United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, The Center, Lawrence CommunityWorks, Groundwork Lawrence, ACT Lawrence, and Greater Lawrence Community Action Council||(here)||call 978-620-4717|
|Lenox||COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program||Rental assistance for households with incomes below 100% AMI who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. Program is administered by Construct, Inc.||(here)|
|Lexington||Lexington Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF)||Lexington residents for at least 3 months who earn <60% AMI can apply for assistance to resolve unexpected financial crises. Funds may be applied to rent, utilities, and/or other expenses.||(here)|
|Littleton||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Provides up to 3 months rental assistance (amount based on unit size), to individuals and households earning under 80% AMI who've lost income due to Covid-19 and are not receiving other government-funded housing assistance (Section 8, RAFT, MRVP, etc)||(here)||Contact Amy at 978-540-2470 (Littleton Elder & Human Services)|
|Lynn||Lynn Community Cares Fund||Flexible relief grants administed by local social service agencies, including Catholic Charities, Northeast Legal Services, LEO, and LHAND, with funding from United Way||(here)||Contact email@example.com|
|Malden||Rental Assistance Program for COVID-19||1 month of rental assistance for households with incomes below 50% AMI who are unable to pay rent due to COVID-19||(here)|
|Malden; Medford; Revere; Everett; Chelsea; Wakefield; Melrose||Housing Families Covid-19 Homelessness Prevention Program||Provides free tenant/landlord legal services, financial support for household resources & rental assistance to low- and moderate-income residents affected by Covid-19||(here)||Call 781-322-9119 ext. 146 and leave a message to get an intake|
|Manchester||Emergency Rental Housing Payment Assistance||The Manchester Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) has partnered with Action, Inc. (located in Gloucester) to provide short-term rental relief to households impacted financially by COVID-19. Call Action, Inc. 978-282-1000 or apply online.||(here)|
|Marshfield||Marshfield Community Fund||Grants towards rent and other housing needs, food, utilities, internet connectivity for families with school-aged children, childcare and access to out-of-school time programs, medications and other basic needs. Priority will be given to those who are most economically vulnerable to this crisis. Funds will support emergency financial assistance for these needs through local nonprofits such as the Marshfield Boys and Girls Club and Sowing Seeds.||(here)|
|Milton; Mattapan; Hyde Park; Dorchester||Neponset Neighbors Together Fund||Grants to support families’ basic needs such as rent, food, utilities, internet connectivity for families with school-aged children, essential supplies and medications and other basic needs. Priority will be given to those who are most economically vulnerable to this crisis.||(here)|
|Newburyport||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Rental and utility assistance for Newburyport residents earning <80% AMI - up to 3 months of assistance, maximum grant of $1500/month. Asset limit of $10,000.||(here)|
|Newton||COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Program||Rental or mortgage assistance for households with incomes below 80% AMI who have lost income due to COVID-19. Assistance covers up to 70% of rent/mortgage (maximum $2,500 per month) over 3 months. Contact Robyn Rufo at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-923-3505 x 5.||(here)|
|Newton||Newton COVID-19 Cares Fund||Relief grants to cover basic needs, such as utilities, rent/mortgage, child care, health care, or other immediate needs, funded through a partnership with United Way and administered by Family ACCESS.||(here)|
|North Andover||Emergency Rental Assistance COVID-19||Covers up to 50% of rent over 3 months for households with incomes below 100% AMI||(here)|
|Pittsfield||Covid-19 Economic Recovery Program - Renter & Homeowner Assistance||Pittsfield homeowners and renters will be able to obtain assistance to pay rent or mortgages or utilities for up to three months or a maximum of $4,000 per household. Households will be screened by Berkshire Regional Housing Authority.||(here)|
|Quincy||Quincy Emergency Rental Assistance Fund||Rental assistance for non-hospitality workers who live in Quincy, administered by Quincy Community Action Programs. Call 617-657-5377 or apply online.||(here)|
|Quincy||Quincy Hospitality Support Fund||Rental assistance for hospitality workers in Quincy provided through a partnership with the Mayor's Office, Quincy Affordable Housing Trust, and the Chamber of Commerce||(here)|
|Randolph||Resilient Randolph Fund||Grants to cover the costs of essential needs including, but not limited to, rent, mortgage, food, utilities, medications, and other basic necessities, distributed through South Shore Stars and Neighborworks Housing Solutions||(here)|
|Salem||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Salem residents earning <50% AMI who've lost income due to Covid-19 can receive grants of up to $500 a month for two months ($1,000 maximum), administered by the North Shore Community Action Program Inc. (NSCAP). Since $500 is not going to cover all the rent, applicants must request a reduction in rent from their landlord, though if the landlord doesn't grant the request, the applicant may still qualify for the program.||(here)||contact NSCAP at (978) 548-5776 or email@example.com|
|Somerville||Somerville Cares Fund||Flexible relief grants administered by the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) with support from United Way. Call 211 or contact Communty Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS).||(here)|
|Sudbury||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Applications are currently closed||(here)||contact RHSO at 978-287-1093 or info@RHSOhousing.org|
|Waltham||Waltham Community Preservation Rental Assistance Program||Offers a maximum of $5,400 over 3 months to cover rental or mortgage costs for Waltham residents who have lost income due to COVID-19. **Note: households already receiving rental assistance through a voucher or other subsidy are not eligible||(here)|
|Williamstown||Emergency Rental Assistance Program||Williamstown renters earning <100% AMI who've been affected by Covid-19 can apply for grants of up to $500 (up to $1,000 may be granted for emergencies). Households earning <80% AMI will get priority. Contact Berkshire Housing & Development Corporation to apply.||(here)|
|Yarmouth||Hands of Hope Rental Assistance Program||Pays back rent or rental start-up costs (first & last) for low-income individuals and households living in Yarmouth||(here)||call the Hands of Hope Outreach Center at 508-432-1312|
Many towns and organizations are responding now to provide additional opportunities for rental and mortgage assistance that will help individuals and families retain their housing once the eviction moratorium is lifted. As of now, these funds include:[/vc_raw_html]
Other Options for Emergency Rental Relief
In addition to relief funds that are newly available due to the COVID-19 crisis, many programs that routinely offer rental assistance are continuing to operate remotely and scaling up their funding to meet the increased need for assistance. This includes:
- Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT) — the major state program that provides emergency rental assistance to families at risk of homelessness has received an infusion of $5 million additional funds to respond to the crisis. To learn more and apply, see RAFT and HomeBASE.
- The United Way COVID-19 Family Support Fund — flexible funds to cover families basic needs, administered by service agencies state-wide. Families can access the program via United Way’s Mass 2-1-1 statewide consumer hotline. For more information, see COVID-19 Fund.
- The Berkshire Takonic Community Foundation Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) Fund — funding provided to social service agencies throughout the Berkshire region (see Service Area) to administer grants of up to $1,000 to cover families emergency needs during COVID-19, including rent. To receive help through this program, see the social service agency contacts listed here.
- The Cape Cod COVID-19 Workforce Housing Relief Fund and Homelessness Prevention — a maximum of $5,000 in rental assistance over a 3 month period for year-round Cape Cod residents with incomes between 50-100% AMI. Additional programs are available for lower income households. The program is administered by the Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC). More information is available on HAC’s website.
- Construct, Inc. COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program — in addition to administering assistance for residents of Great Barrington and Lenox, Contruct, Inc. is administering additional emergency rental assistance for residents of other South Berkshire towns with funding provided by the Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust. Information is provided at the bottom of Construct, Inc.’s homepage.
- Mass Jobs for Justice has compiled a list of emergency funds which includes funds for service industry and domestic workers, artists, and undocumented immigrants. The list is available in multiple languages and can be accessed here.
For help locating and applying for emergency mortgage and rental assistance:
See CHAPA’s List of Foreclosure and Rental Counseling Agencies or dial 2-1-1 to locate programs through United Way’s service hotline.