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

Download Flyers in English and Spanish

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 

The best way to apply is online. However, if you prefer to submit a paper application or need the application in another language, download it below:

SpanishChineseHaitian CreoleKhmer | PortugueseRussian | Vietnamese

Completed paper applications should be mailed or delivered to 1780 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, emailed to: info@wayfinders.org or faxed to: 413-787-1797


For Landlords (20 units or less)

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

complete the online landlord application   Aplicación en español

ChineseHaitian CreoleKhmer | PortugueseRussian | Vietnamese

Completed paper applications should be mailed or delivered to 1780 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, emailed to: info@wayfinders.org or faxed to: 413-787-1797

Massachusetts Chapter 151B Information

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.
 

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.

New Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

English:
RAFT/ERMA applications may also be considered for the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP); no additional or separate application is required. ERAP includes benefits that can exceed $10,000 and include slightly different eligibility requirements, along with a preference for households with one or more members that have been unemployed 90 days or more at the time of application or who have income below 50% of the Area Median Income. We will match you with the most appropriate program based on your needs and circumstances, and may ask additional questions beyond those in the application.  

Learn more

Spanish:
Las solicitudes de RAFT/ERMA también pueden ser consideradas para el Programa Federal de Asistencia de Emergencia para el Alquiler (ERAP); no se requiere una solicitud adicional o separada. El ERAP incluye beneficios que pueden superar los $10,000 e incluyen requisitos de elegibilidad ligeramente diferentes, junto con una preferencia para los hogares con uno o más miembros que han estado desempleados 90 días o más al momento de la solicitud o que tienen ingresos por debajo del 50% de los ingresos medios del área. Lo pondremos en contacto con el programa más adecuado en función de sus necesidades y circunstancias, y es posible que le hagamos preguntas adicionales a las de la solicitud.  

Aprende más

Portuguese:
Os requerimentos do RAFT/ERMA também podem ser considerados para o Programa Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP); nenhum requerimento adicional ou separado é necessário. O ERAP inclui benefícios que podem ultrapassar $10.000 dólares e inclui requisitos de elegibilidade um pouco diferentes, juntamente com uma preferência por famílias com um ou mais membros que estejam desempregados há 90 dias ou mais no momento do requerimento ou que tenham uma renda abaixo de 50% da Renda média da área. Iremos correspondê-lo ao programa mais apropriado com base em suas necessidades e circunstâncias, e podemos fazer perguntas adicionais além daquelas incluídas no requerimento.  

Saber mais

Chinese:
联邦紧急租房补助计划 (ERAP) 也将 RAFT/ERMA 申请考虑在内;有意向者无需额外或单独申请。ERAP 包括可能超过 10,000 美元的福利,其资格要求也略有不同,更优先考虑在申请时失业 90 天或以上或收入低于地区中位数收入 50% 的家庭。我们将根据您的需求和情况为您提供最合适的计划,并可能提出申请表中未包括的其他问题。 

了解更多

Khmer:
ពាក្យសុំ RAFT / ERMA ក៏អាចត្រូវបានគេយកមកពិចារណាសម្រាប់កម្មវិធីជំនួយការជួលបន្ទាន់របស់សហព័ន្ធ (Emergency Rental Assistance Program, ERAP) ផងដែរ។ មិនចាំបាច់មានពាក្យសុំបន្ថែម ឬដាច់ដោយឡែកទេ។ ERAP រួមបញ្ចូលអត្ថប្រយោជន៍ដែលអាចមានចំនួនទឹកប្រាក់លើសពី 10,000 ដុល្លារ និងរួមបញ្ចូលលក្ខខណ្ឌតម្រូវសិទ្ធិចូលរួមខុសគ្នាបន្តិចបន្តួចរួ មជាមួយចំណូលចិត្តសម្រាប់គ្រួសារដែលមានសមាជិកម្នាក់ ឬច្រើននាក់ដែលគ្មានការងារធ្វើ  90 ថ្ងៃ ឬច្រើនជាងនេះ នៅពេលដាក់ពាក្យសុំ ឬអ្នកដែលមានប្រាក់ចំណូលទាបជាង 50% នៃចំណូលមធ្យមប្រចាំតំបន់ ។ យើងនឹងផ្គូផ្គងអ្នកជាមួយកម្មវិធីដែលសមស្របបំផុតដោយផ្អែកលើតម្រូវការ និងកាលៈទេសៈរបស់អ្នក ហើយអាចនឹងសួរសំណួរបន្ថែមក្រៅពីសំណួរដែលមាននៅក្នុងពាក្យសុំ។ 

ស្វែង​យល់​បន្ថែម

Vietnamese
Các đơn đăng ký RAFT/ERMA cũng có thể được xem xét cho Chương trình Hỗ trợ Người thuê nhà Khẩn cấp (ERAP) của liên bang mà không cần nộp thêm đơn đăng ký riêng. Chương trình ERAP bao gồm trợ cấp có thể lên đến hơn 10.000 đô la và bao gồm các yêu cầu về điều kiện hơi khác một chút, với ưu tiên dành cho các hộ gia đình có một hoặc nhiều thành viên đã thất nghiệp từ 90 ngày trở lên tính đến thời điểm nộp đơn hoặc có thu nhập dưới 50% Thu nhập Trung bình của Khu vực. Chúng tôi sẽ chọn chương trình phù hợp nhất dựa trên nhu cầu và hoàn cảnh của quý vị, đồng thời có thể hỏi thêm các câu hỏi khác ngoài những câu hỏi trong đơn đăng ký.  

Tìm hiểu thêm

Haitian Creole:
Yo kapab konsidere demann pou RAFT/ERMA pou pwogram federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) tou; yon lòt demann oswa yon demann separe pa nesesè. ERAP genyen ladan li benefis ki kapab depase $10,000 epi li genyen egzijans pou elijibilite ki yon ti jan diferan, ansanm ak yon preferans pou kay ki gen yon moun oswa plis ki sibi chomaj pandan 90 jou oswa plis nan moman demann nan te depoze oswa ki touche revni ki pi ba pase 50% Revni Mwayen pou Zòn nan (Area Median Income). Nou pral konekte w ak pwogram ki pi apwopriye a selon bezwen w ak sikonstans ou yo, epi nou ka poze plis kesyon an plis de sa ki nan demann nan.  

Aprann plis

Russian:
Заявления RAFT/ERMA также могут рассматриваться для участия в федеральной программе Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP); для этого не требуется дополнительных или отдельных заявлений. Выплаты по программе ERAP могут превышать 10 000 долл. США и предусматривают несколько иные квалификационные требования, наряду с преимуществом для домохозяйств, в которых, на момент подачи заявления, один или несколько членов находятся без работы в течение 90 или более дней или чей доход составляет 50% или ниже регионального медианного дохода. Мы подберем для Вас наиболее подходящую программу, исходя из Ваших потребностей и обстоятельств. Обращаем внимание, что Вам могут быть заданы дополнительные вопросы, помимо указанных в заявлении.

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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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