Boston – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

FUND FOR RENTAL RELIEF

Residents of Boston who are at risk of losing their houses because to the COVID-19 epidemic will be eligible for federal aid.

PLEASE REMEMBER That the eligibility requirements for the Rental Assistance Fund were changed on April 19. Before submitting an application, you should thoroughly review the program requirements and qualifying conditions.

ONLINE, SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST FOR THE FUND.

If you need assistance completing a Rental Relief Application, please send an email to rrf@boston.gov or call 617-635-4200 and select option 5 to talk with someone.

GUIDELINES FOR THE PROGRAM AND ELIGIBILITY

Residents of Boston who have been economically damaged by the COVID-19 epidemic and are having difficulty paying their rent will be entitled to receive assistance from federal funds.

The Rental Relief Fund will provide financial assistance of up to $10,000 to qualifying households based on their income level for up to 18 months for the following reasons:

  • Arrears
  • Existing lease
  • Rent in the future
  • Utility bills that haven’t been paid
  • The expenses connected with relocation

Applicants must reapply for additional assistance once they have received three months’ worth of future rent. Applicants will be required to deposit 30% of their annual salary toward prospective rent expenses.

Rental Relief Fund help is available to those earning less than 50% of the region median income. Furthermore, we prioritize families in which at least one member has been out of work for the last three months.

THE RENTAL RELIEF FUND OF THE CITY OF BOSTON CAN ASSIST TENANTS WITH THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES:

  • Past-due rent (as of March 13, 2020), current rent, and up to three months’ worth of projected rent
  • Utility and home energy bills ($2,000 utility allowance) that are either past due or currently outstanding as of March 13, 2020 (including internet service).
  • The expenses associated with relocating to Boston

THE CITY OF BOSTON’S RENTAL RELIEF FUND IS UNABLE TO ASSIST TENANTS WITH THE FOLLOWING EXPENSES:

  • Rent or utility bills that are past due and have a due date prior to March 13, 2020
  • Expenses incurred by treatment centers
  • Payments are provided to landlords who are connected to the renter or are family members (unless the relative has incorporated as LLC)
  • Rental fees that individuals with a Housing Choice Voucher will bear in the future (Section 8)

FOR ELIGIBILITY, YOU MUST BE IN A POSITION TO PROVE:

  • A person who resides in Boston
  • At or below 50% AMI
  • At risk of homelessness or an insecure living situation
  • COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the economy, and
  • NOT a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.

NOTES

  • Relocation requests must be tied to eviction, a notice to vacate, or a threat to the tenant’s ability to maintain home stability. If it is determined that the applicant would be put in an unsustainable rental agreement as a result of the move, the Office of Housing Stability reserves the right to deny the applicant’s request for moving assistance.
  • Only those who have received a Housing Choice Voucher (commonly known as Section 8) are eligible for rent arrears help.
  • If the Boston Housing Authority is your landlord, you can find out more by going to the Housing Authority’s website. You can also contact us by email at rental.relief@bostonhousing.org or by phone at (617) 988-5060. Please include your name, address, and phone number in every communication you send. You may also download a copy of the Public Housing Rental Relief flyer in English (US), Spanish (Spain)
  • It is prohibited for a landlord in Massachusetts to discriminate against a renter because the tenant is a beneficiary of federal, state, or municipal housing subsidies, including rental aid or rental supplements, according to Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws. In some cases, it may be a violation of Chapter 151B for a landlord to refuse to accept emergency rental assistance that covers the whole sum owed to the landlord. Before denying rental assistance that covers all outstanding rent arrears, landlords should consult with their own legal counsel to acquire the best advice available.

TENANT SUPPORT SERVICES

To apply for the Fund, you must provide the following information: a copy of a signed current lease or tenant agreement, photo documentation for the head of the household, two most recent pay stubs, documentation of unemployment (if applicable), documentation of MassHealth enrollment (optional), and documentation of SNAP/EBT benefits (optional).

ONLINE, SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST FOR THE FUND.

RESOURCES FOR LANDLORDS

If you are submitting on behalf of your renter, please have a completed W-9, proof of ownership, and a copy of the current lease ready to submit.

Please provide a copy of these documents to your tenant if they wish to apply for the position on their own.

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