Assistance for Renters and Homeowners

Apply for Financial Assistance

Way Finders serves as the regional Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) for Hampden and Hampshire counties and administers financial assistance programs such as Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA), and other municipal programs.

These programs are designed for renters and homeowners of all household sizes to help prevent homelessness. Our single application determines eligibility for all programs. Way Finders will determine the best program(s) to fit your needs. If your household resides outside of these counties and you are looking for assistance, find your regional HCEC here

Financial Assistance can help with:

  • Overdue rent, mortgages, and utilities 
  • First/Last/Security Deposits
  • Utility Assistance
  • Moving Costs
  • Furniture (when moving)
  • More...

For renters and homeowners

Renters and homeowners can complete an application to request financial assistance for overdue rent, mortgage, utilities, and more. 

complete an online application

For Landlords

Landlords can begin the application process for their tenants who may need to request financial assistance for overdue rent. Al adult household members must sign a Tenant Consent form (located in the application), in order for the Landlord to complete this process. 

complete the online landlord application

Steps to Receiving Financial Assistance

  1. Complete an application online or by contacting 413-233-1600 to determine eligibility.
  2. Verification with a Way Finders' Housing Counselor. Review application for any missing documents and/or information. 
  3. If requesting assistance for overdue rent or First/Last/Security Deposits coordinate completion of Property Owner Packet.
  4. If approved, you will receive a notification and assistance funds will be mailed by check to appropriate payee. If denied, Way Finders will provide information about other community resources that may be of assistance. 

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements for Financial Assistance programs vary. Due to COVID-19 program guidelines and requirements are flexible. Even if you have been denied in the past or if you have used your maximum RAFT benefit in the past 12 months, you may be eligible for new programs.

Our Financial Assistance Programs

Below is a list and description of financial assistance programs we offer. Our application determines eligibility for all programs. Way Finders will determine the best program(s) to fit your needs. 

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)

The RAFT Program is a homelessness prevention program funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to households with income up to 50% Area Median Income (AMI) who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Up to $4,000 per 12-month period that can be used to help keep their housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless.

A benefit level of more than $4,000, not to exceed $10,000, is available to eligible households who are behind on rent, or expect to become behind on rent, due to a financial hardship related to COVID-19.

Receipt of a benefit level above $4,000 requires that the landlord enter into an agreement to keep the tenant stably housed and not file for eviction for at least for six months or until June 1, 2021 if there are school-aged children in the unit, whichever is later.
 

50% AMI Max

  • 1 Person Household = $29,900
  • 2 Person Household = $34,200
  • 3 Person Household = $38,450
  • 4 Person Household = $42,700
  • 5 Person Household = $46,150
  • 6 Person Household = $49,550
  • 7 Person Household = $52,950
  • 8 Person Household = $56,400

Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA)

ERMA expands eligibility for rental and mortgage assistance to more low-income households who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis by adjusting the income threshold beyond the state’s traditional Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. This includes households within the 50-80% range of Area Median Income (AMI). Like the RAFT program, ERMA will provide up to $4,000 for eligible households to pay rent or mortgage payments in arrears going back to payments due April 1, 2020.

50% - 80% AMI

  • 1 Person Household = $29,900 - $47,850
  • 2 Person Household = $34,200 - $54,650
  • 3 Person Household = $38,450 - $61,500
  • 4 Person Household = $42,700 - $68,300
  • 5 Person Household = $46,150 - $73,800
  • 6 Person Household = $49,550 - $79,250
  • 7 Person Household = $52,950 - $84,700
  • 8 Person Household = $56,400 - $90,200

Springfield Rent & Mortgage Assistance

Springfield’s rent and mortgage assistance program is funded by two federal grants: the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and the Community Development Block Grant Program. Assistance is available for Springfield residents that have lost income due to COVID-19 and had household income at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) before the income loss.

Each household may receive up to three months’ rent/mortgage and utility payments, with a maximum of $4000 per household. Payment will be made directly to landlords, banks and utility companies. There is no requirement for an eviction or foreclosure notice in order to receive the assistance.

80% AMI Max

  • 1 Person Household = $47,850
  • 2 Person Household = $54,650
  • 3 Person Household = $61,500
  • 4 Person Household = $68,300
  • 5 Person Household = $73,800
  • 6 Person Household = $79,250
  • 7 Person Household = $84,700
  • 8 Person Household = $90,200

Monson Rental Assistance

Monson's rent assistance program is funded by the Town of Monson Community Preservation Committee. 

Assistance is available for Monson residents who currently rent housing as a primary residence in the town of Monson, have household income below 80% of area median income (AMI) at the time of application, and have a housing emergency due to a financial hardship related to COVID-19. 

Each household may receive up to $5000 for overdue rent. Payment will be made directly to landlords.

80% AMI Max

  • 1 Person Household = $47,850
  • 2 Person Household = $54,650
  • 3 Person Household = $61,500
  • 4 Person Household = $68,300
  • 5 Person Household = $73,800
  • 6 Person Household = $79,250
  • 7 Person Household = $84,700
  • 8 Person Household = $90,200
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