Emergency Rental & Mortgage Assistance (updated July 11, 2023)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has funds available to assist income eligible households who are having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage. This program is called RAFT. RAFT can be used for the following costs:
- Rent arrears
- Mortgage arrears
- Moving-related expenses (first/last/security, moving trucks, and furniture)
- Utility arrears
Such funding that is made available for these needs is an example of a homelessness prevention program. Preserving an existing tenancy whether it is as a renter or a homeowner can be less disruptive and sometimes less costly overall when help is supplied while the tenant is still in place. Applications are made online:
Renters and homeowners should apply to RAFT at this link:
Once received, administrative staff will figure out what amount of aid is available based on current funding. Note that landlords of any size can now apply on behalf of their tenants. This website includes a link for free legal help and mediation for tenants and landlords.
More information about RAFT:
- Renter households must have received a Notice to Quit or other communication from the landlord to leave to qualify.
- Both Renter and Homeowner households must meet the program’s income eligibility requirement. Income must be no more than 50% of the area median income, or 60% of AMI for households who are at risk of domestic violence. To find out where your income falls as a percentage of the area median income, please refer to the table below showing Groton’s Area Median Income. Area Median Income numbers are revised annually.
- Eligible households may be eligible for a grant of up to $7,000 over a 12-month period.
- Homeowner households must be at least three months past due on their mortgage to qualify (nonconsecutive months are okay).
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency rental and mortgage assistance programs have fluctuated significantly. When more funds are available to support grants, then program parameters are more generous in terms of eligibility and total grant assistance.
Some households on the verge of homelessness will be able to avoid homelessness if they receive some short-term financial support. There are federal funds available for this purpose called rapid rehousing. Rapid Rehousing is one of the services provided by the Emergency Solutions Grant Program Please call 617-573-1100 (Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities) to inquire about rapid rehousing funds.