Emergency Housing Assistance for Renters, Homeowners and Landlords

Resources for Renters & Homeowners
Resources for Landlords
Reading on Eviction Moratorium Expiration
Massachusetts Housing Assistance Landscape

Resources for Renters & Homeowners

CDC Eviction Moratorium

With the expiration on October 17th of the state eviction moratorium, a federal moratorium established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took effect in Massachusetts. This moratorium will prevent evictions for non-payment for tenants meeting income requirements who submit a written declaration to their landlord.  The declaration can be found here, and in a number of additional languages. The CDC Eviction Moratorium is set to expire December 31, 2020.

Detailed instructions on the steps necessary to be protected under the CDC Eviction Moratorium can be found here.

Statewide Financial Assistance

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) are two state-funded rental and mortgage assistance programs for Massachusetts residents. More information on RAFT/ERMA can be found here.

All Boston, Belmont, and Watertown residents apply for RAFT/ERMA through MetroHousing Boston here.

Program Income Eligibility Limits for RAFT and ERMA for all Belmont, Watertown and Boston residents can be found in the below table:

Household Size:1 person2 people3 people4 people5 people6 people7 people8 people
RAFT: 50% AMI Maximum Income$44,800$51,200$57,600$63,950$69,100$74,200$79,300$84,450
ERMA: 80% AMI Maximum Income$67,400$77,000$86,650$96,250$103,950$111,650$119,350$127,050

RAFT is available for individuals who are under 50% AMI. RAFT recipients can receive up to $10,000 in assistance. ERMA is available for individuals who are 50-80% AMI and can provide up to $4,000 in assistance.

Any Massachusetts resident can apply for RAFT/ERMA funding, regardless of immigration status.

All Boston, Belmont, and Watertown residents can apply for RAFT/ERMA here.

Community Specific Funds


The Belmont Housing Trust has created an Emergency Rental Assistance Program using Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. The program can assist qualifying Belmont households to pay their rent for up to 3 months. More information about the application process can be found here. To begin an application, email Merkeisha at merkeisha@metrowestcd.org or call (617) 504-8868.


The Town of Watertown has created the Emergency Rental Assistance Program utilizing affordable housing funds. The program can assist qualifying Watertown households to pay their rent for up to 3 months. Contact Robyn Rufo at robyn@metrowestcd.org or call (617) 923-3505 x 5 to be put on the waitlist.


The City of Boston has created the Rental Relief Fund for individuals at risk of being evicted who do not have access to expanded unemployment benefits. The application can be found here.

Other Resources

Governor’s announcement of Eviction Diversion Initiative
Eviction Diversion FAQs
New RAFT Changes: Process and Eligibility

If you need assistance navigating these programs or do not know which you qualify for, you can contact Alicia Brisson for direct assistance at Alicia.Brisson@MASenate.gov or by phone at (617) 651-1516.

Resources for Landlords

Beginning in late October, landlords are allowed to apply for RAFT/ERMA funding on behalf of their tenants who have been affected by COVID-19 and are unable to pay rent.

If you are a landlord and believe your tenets are eligible for RAFT, you should learn about the RAFT/ERMA rental assistance program and inform your tenets that this financial resource is available and can be applied for through the MetroHousing Boston application.

Additional resources for landlords can be found here.

Reading on Eviction Moratorium Expiration

U.S. District Court Decision: Ruling on Preliminary Injunction on Eviction Moratorium