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Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed October 2022

What is Emergency Assistance (EA)?

Emergency Assistance (EA) is a state program that provides certain families with children experiencing homelessness with:

  • emergency shelter, and
  • financial help to access private housing.

Currently, most families eligible for EA are also eligible for housing-related assistance called HomeBASE or the Short-Term Housing Transition (STHT) program.

HomeBASE benefits include:

  • up to $20,000 over twenty-four months, to be used for rent or utility arrears
  • payments to allow a family experiencing homelessness to stay with another household
  • first and last month’s rent and security deposit
  • moving expenses
  • other costs to allow a family to become or remain housed.

To get HomeBASE, you must first be found eligible for Emergency Assistance (EA) so it is important to complete an EA application even if you only want HomeBASE. HomeBASE is available to help you avoid going into shelter or to help you leave shelter.

See 760 CMR 67 (EA regulations, under the Code of Massachusetts Regulations).

See also 760 CMR 65.00 (HomeBASE regulations).

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