RAFT: Residential Assistance for Families in Transition, ERMA: Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance, and ERAP: Emergency Rental Assistance Program
The state-funded RAFT, ERMA, and ERAP programs are tools used by the HCEC team to provide eligible households or individuals funding that can be used to help keep their housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless.
If you are unable to complete the form online, please leave a message on our RAFT hotline at 781.422.4204 and our staff will call back to assist you in the order your message was received.
Please read all qualifications below:
If you have access to documents without leaving your home, please upload pictures of the documents using your smart phone, if possible. If you do not have access to the documents and need additional time, please let us know.
Who qualifies for RAFT, ERMA, and ERAP?
- A household’s income must be at or below 80 percent area median income (AMI). Erma Income Guidelines
- Households can consist of a single person. Do not have to have a dependent child or two people.
- Individuals, families with older children, couples without children, unaccompanied youth, and households of any size.
- Household must provide documentation/proof that they are currently experiencing a housing crisis:
- For households with rental arrears: Written documentation of rental arrears, demonstration of a financial hardship (reduction in revenue and/or increase in expenses) that caused the nonpayment of rent, and demonstration that payment of the arrears will allow the household to retain their housing.
- For households facing eviction: Do not need a summary process, just a notice from your landlord that you are behind (during COVID). Tenants who have a housing subsidy and are facing eviction due to non-payment of rent must also provide proof of financial hardship that explains cause for arrears in order to receive assistance.
- For households leaving doubled-up housing: Letter from landlord or primary tenant explaining that the family must leave. This must also include the address, date, and contact name and info of person writing letter. A copy of new lease or letter of intent to rent for new apartment.
- For households leaving unsafe housing: Verification of unsafe housing conditions and copy of new lease/letter of intent to rent for new apartment.
- For households facing foreclosure or mortgage arrears: Current mortgage statement and letter from lender indicating that family is at least 30 days in arrears and at risk of foreclosure.
What can RAFT, ERMA, and ERAP funds be used for?
- RAFT funds can be used for housing-related expenses only. Appropriate uses of funds include, but are not limited to:
- Rental or mortgage arrearages
- Security deposits
- First and last month’s rent
- Utility arrearages
- ERMA funds are strictly for rent or mortgage arrears and stipends. We cannot assist people to move or pay utility arrears.
- How does ERAP differ from RAFT or ERMA? Click this link to learn more.
For more information about RAFT, ERMA, and ERAP contact our HCEC team via email or our RAFT phone line at 781-422-4204 with your questions or to request a callback. If you use our RAFT line, PLEASE leave your full name and phone number slowly and clearly and repeat your phone number to ensure that we can call you back.
To learn more about submitting a complete application, eligibility, and required documents click here.
Facing Eviction? Find resources here.
Additional Flexibility in Response to COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 emergency, resources and policies are changing on a regular basis. We are updating this information regularly, but please check the individual websites for specific contact instructions. The information below applies to NHS:
- NHS is attempting to manage emergencies by phone and/or email.
- Walk-in traffic and in-person appointments have been temporarily suspended.
- Other activities, including workshops and inspections, may be cancelled or postponed.
- Ongoing critical functions such as issuing housing assistance payments (voucher payments to property owners for Section 8, MRVP, RAFT, and others) are continuing.
- If you are unable to complete the form online, please leave a message on our RAFT hotline at (781) 422-4204.
- To find out more about CELHP and how to get legal help in your area go to www.EvictionLegalHelp.org.
- DHCD: COVID-19 Housing Resources: www.mass.gov/covidhousinghelp
- To learn more about submitting a complete application, eligibility, and required documents click here.
- Facing Eviction? Find resources here.