Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)
Until Jan. 1, 2023, Landlords are required to send a notice to quit for non-payment of rent. A Notice to Quit is NOT an eviction. You do not need to immediately leave your apartment. You are entitled to a legal proceeding in which you can defend against an eviction. ONLY a court order can force you to leave your apartment.
Until Jan. 1, 2023, a Notice to Quit must be accompanied by information about tenant’s rights and rental assistance options.
The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) stopped accepting applications on April 15, 2022. Households can still apply for rental assistance from the more targeted, state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program.
The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. For households applying to RAFT for assistance with rent arrears, a notice to quit or eviction notice/court summons is now required. The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. RAFT provides qualifying households with maximum benefit limit of $10,000 per household in a 12-month period. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent. Renters or landlords can apply by submitting an online application.
RAFT does not serve homeowners. Homeowners may access mortgage and other assistance through the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).
Free legal aid is available to assist low-income tenants with referrals, legal information, and legal representation for evictions statewide. More information is available here, or you can go to https://hedfuel.azurewebsites.net/ to find a legal aid program near you. Massachusetts Community Mediation Centers also offer free pre-court mediation between landlords and tenants for COVID-19 related lease disputes in addition to the summary process cases referred through the courts
The process for referrals from partner agencies has several steps:
For greatest efficiency and to ensure the swiftest process, please provide all required documents and explanation of the housing crisis. It will take between four and seven weeks to process all applications.
If you have questions regarding how to complete the application, please contact Metro Housing’s Housing Hub at 617-425-6700 or via e-mail at ResourceLine@MetroHousingBoston.org
Who qualifies for RAFT
What can RAFT funds be used for?
Program funds can be used for housing-related expenses only. Appropriate uses of funds include, but are not limited to:
For Special Accommodations