1. Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)
RAFT is a government program that helps low-income families avoid homelessness. RAFT can be used to pay for security deposit, first and last month’s rent, bank rent, or utility bills. You must have children living with you or have a disability. The most you can get from the program is $4,000 in a 12-month period. You can apply for RAFT funds at your regional Housing Education Center. See Massachusetts RAFT information page.
HomeBase is a program that offers a fixed amount to homeless families with children and pregnant women who are eligible for the state’s Emergency Assistance (EA) program. The purpose of HomeBASE is to prevent homelessness or to help people moving out of an EA shelter. HomeBASE can be used for a variety of purposes including paying a security deposit, and first and last month’s rent. Families moving into subsidized housing can use HomeBASE for first month, last month rent, and security deposit.65
3. Private Programs
Some towns have private funds to help people in their towns who have low incomes. Ask at your local church or town hall. You may be able to get some help from the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.