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Where can I get help paying my rent?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed November, 2020

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)

If you are:

  • Low income, and
  • At risk of homelessness

the RAFT program may give you money for rent.

Find the agency that reviews applications where you live. Call 1-800-224-5124 or find the agency closest to you.

  1. Complete a pre-application. If you pass the pre-application screening, they will give you an application.
  2. Fill out the application. You must turn in copies of things like your bills, lease, and income with your application.
  3. If they approve your application they will tell you what to do to get the money.

Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program

You may be eligible for money to cover rent or mortgage payments if your household income is:
50-80% of Area Median Income (AMI), and you cannot get RAFT. 

The money can cover payments missed after April 1, 2020 and upcoming rent or mortgage payments.

Apply for the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program at the same place you apply for RAFT.


Dial 2-1-1 on your phone to find resources to pay for:

  • rent,
  • utilities,
  • food, and
  • child care.

Get the most up-to-date information over the phone.  But, they also have a website,

Funds for Undocumented People

MassUndocuFund is giving money to:

  • undocumented people, and
  • people who cannot get money from other places.

Jobs with Justice has more information. Apply for a grant from MassUndocuFund.

Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund

The Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund will give non-profits money for people in need.  This money is not available yet. The money will go to:

  • Essential workers,
  • First responders,
  • Healthcare workers,
  • Working families and households affected more than others by the impact of COVID-19,
  • Individuals with disabilities,
  • Immigrants,
  • Houses with food insecurity, and
  • Homeless people.

Contact your Community Action Program to ask for help.

Housing Consumer Education Centers of Massachusetts

Talk to your Housing Consumer Education Centers about emergency rental assistance if you have low income.  They may know of other places to apply for money.  Find your center or call 1-800-224-5124.

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund

Your household may be eligible for up to $800 if you:

  • Are a farmworker or seafood industry worker,
  • Who is experiencing financial hardship, and
  • Is at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

Submit your application to Attorney Claudia Quintero, [email protected]. Call (413) 686-9054 with any questions. 

For actors, bartenders, restaurant workers and creators

There are special funds set up for you.  Some money may cover your rent.  Look at a list from the Committee for Public Counsel Services.

United Way COVID-19 Fund

Learn more about getting money for rent from the United Way.

Mutual Aid Organizations

List things you need and offer what you can give.  Someone may be able to help with rent.  Look for your city or town on the list.

Other Help

Some churches and non-profits like the Salvation Army may have money. Ask if they have money to help with rent.  You can also see a map from the state of resources near you. 


Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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