Assistance for Renters and Homeowners

Emergency Financial Housing 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), Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) and other municipal assistance programs. These programs are designed for renters and homeowners of all household sizes to help prevent homelessness.

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 

The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) stopped accepting applications on April 15, 2022. Households can still apply for rental assistance from the more targeted, state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program.

The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. RAFT provides qualifying households with up to $7,000 per year to preserve current housing or move to new housing. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent, as well as forward rent in limited situations. Renters or landlords can apply by submitting an online application

For Homeowners

RAFT does not serve homeowners. Homeowners may access mortgage and other assistance through the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).

Free legal aid is available to assist low-income tenants with referrals, legal information, and legal representation for evictions statewide. More information is available here, or you can go to https://hedfuel.azurewebsites.net/ to find a legal aid program near you. Massachusetts Community Mediation Centers also offer free pre-court mediation between landlords and tenants for COVID-19 related lease disputes in addition to the summary process cases referred through the courts.



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  


 

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.
 

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

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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