If you can’t pay your rent due to COVID-19



Legislation FAQs


Housing Committee Co-Chair Kevin Honan guest blog

STEP 1: For All Renters Who Cannot Pay 

For renters who have lost jobs or had decreased hours due to COVID-19, recently-passed legislation ensures that property owners cannot evict for non-payment of rent or file a report to the consumer reporting agencies.


While there are multiple options for renters (see below), the first required step is that tenants provide property owners this completed notice (or this notice in Spanish) within 30 days of the deadline to certify that the non-payment was due to COVID-19.


It is critical that this form be completed as a first step before seeking a rent adjustment if you have a rental voucher (STEP 2A) or financial assistance if you are in a market rate unit (STEP 2B) outlined below.

STEP 2A: If I Have a Rental Voucher

(Section 8, MRVP, Continuum of Care)

STEP 2B: If I Do Not Have a Rental Voucher

Have you recently lost your job? Or have you had your hours reduced? Are you unable to pay your current tenant share? If so, you may be eligible for a change in the tenant share you pay your property owner.


To get started, email the Leased Housing Gateway Team at Gateway@MetroHousingBoston.org. Be sure to include the name of the head of household and current address.


Please note: This process only applies to current voucher program participants with Metro Housing through Section 8, MRVP, or COC.

For individuals and families at risk of being displaced or forced to leave their homes due to COVID-19 employment loss, Residential Assistance for Families in Transition, also known as RAFT, may be the solution.


This program provides eligible households up to $4,000 that can be used to help keep their housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless regardless of source of income, lack of income, citizenship, or immigration status.


Begin the process by completing a RAFT pre-application. These applications are submitted and processed completely electronically.


If you have other questions or need further guidance, visit the Eviction Prevention page or contact the Housing Hub at ResourceLine@MetroHousingBoston.org.