Where can you apply for EA?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2019

Where can you apply for EA?

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), through its Division of Housing Stabilization (DHS), runs the EA program, but DHCD workers are located in Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) offices and take EA applications there. In addition, DHCD has a telephone line that families can call to apply for EA remotely if they cannot make it to a local office.

The EA application number is 866-584-0653. See Appendix A.

You can apply for EA at the local DTA offices listed in Appendix A between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. each weekday. You may want to call the office to confirm the hours for that day.


as of the time of publication the Lowell office is only taking in-person applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and other offices may not be consistently open. The state budgets for FY19 and FY20 require DHCD to maintain office locations in the ten cities and towns that had local offices as of January 1, 2018.

Advocacy Tips

  • You should go to your local DHCD/DTA office as early in the morning as possible since the application process often takes all day.
  • DHCD should take your application the same day you go to apply. If someone tries to send you away without taking your application and you need a place to stay right away, ask to speak to a DHCD Supervisor or contact an advocate immediately.
  • DHCD should ask you which language you prefer to communicate in when you apply. If they do not ask, tell the DHCD worker your preferred language. If you speak Spanish or another common language, you have the right to receive important documents, including the application, in your language. You have the right to get free oral interpretation from DHCD.
  • DHCD may try to discourage you from applying for EA by suggesting that you stay with friends or relatives. If you have no safe place to go and you appear to meet eligibility rules based on your own statements and other information DHCD has, you have a right to be placed in EA shelter or HomeBASE temporary accommodations right away. See What If You Do Not Have Proof of Eligibility? and How long does it take to be placed in EA shelter?.
  • If you apply for EA but DHCD says you are not eligible, DHCD should give you a written denial notice that explains why you were denied and that you have a right to appeal. See What are your EA appeal rights?.
  • DHCD is not taking EA applications at every DTA office. This may violate state law. St. 2009, c. 27, § 142. If this causes a problem for you, contact an advocate.

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