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 emergency financial assistance programs such a Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), and other municipal assistance programs. These programs are designed for renters and homeowners of all household sizes to help prevent homelessness.

*Effective January 1, 2022, the Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program is no longer available. Homeowners may be eligible for assistance through the Homeowner Assistance Fund. 

Renter households who resides outside of Hampden and Hampshire counties and you are looking for assistance, find your regional HCEC here.  

The best way to apply for assistance is online. However, if you are unable to access or submit an online application, please contact 413-233-1600 or info@wayfinders.org for assistance.

For Renters

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

Financial Assistance can help with:

  • Overdue rent and utilities 
  • First/Last/Security Deposits
  • Utility Assistance
  • Moving Costs
  • Furniture (when moving)
  • Other barriers to housing

complete an online application 

The best way to apply is online. However, if you are unable to access or submit an online application, please contact 413-233-1600 or info@wayfinders.org for assistance.

After you complete your application, you may be asked to upload additional documents. Have your application ID that was emailed to you ready in order to login and upload documents. 

Login and upload additional documents



For Landlords

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 in order for the Landlord to complete this process. 

complete the online landlord application  

If you are unable to access or submit an online application, please contact 413-233-1600 or info@wayfinders.org for assistance.


For Homeowners

Homeowners in need of mortgage assistance or other housing assistance may apply for the new Homeowner Assistance Fund (MA HAF) Program.  

Learn more and apply
 

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.
 

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 $7,000 per 12-month period that can be used to help keep their housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless.

50% AMI Max

  • 1 Person Household = $29,9450
  • 2 Person Household = $33,650
  • 3 Person Household = $37,850
  • 4 Person Household = $42,050
  • 5 Person Household = $45,450
  • 6 Person Household = $48,800
  • 7 Person Household = $52,150
  • 8 Person Household = $55,550

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 $10,000 for overdue rent. Payment will be made directly to landlords.

80% AMI Max

  • 1 Person Household = $47,150
  • 2 Person Household = $53, 850
  • 3 Person Household = $60,600
  • 4 Person Household = $67,300
  • 5 Person Household = $72,700
  • 6 Person Household = $78,100
  • 7 Person Household = $83,500
  • 8 Person Household = $88,850

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Renter households experiencing a COVID-19 related housing crisis may also be considered for the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP); no additional or separate application is required. ERAP includes slightly different eligibility requirements including a higher benefit cap and income limits at or below 80% 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.  

Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF)

Mass HAF will provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners who have missed at least 3 home mortgage payments to help them avoid foreclosure. If a homeowner's application is approved, funds will be provided to a homeowner’s mortgage servicing company (the company that collects their mortgage payments) in order to apply it to the housing loan). 

These payments could include assistance with overdue mortgage payments, insurance, homeowners association fees, and/or property taxes.

To receive updates about the Homeowner Assistance Fund, determine homeowner eligibility and complete the application, please visit the HAF application website. 
 

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