There are several government created housing programs in Massachusetts. Resources can help families deal with foreclosures, rent assistance, and public housing issues. Some of the programs can provide emergency financial assistance for addressing the housing crisis, and others will offer case management and services such as landlord/tenant or foreclosure mediation. An extensive summary of all the housing assistance programs that are available in Massachusetts is below.
Free or low cost foreclosure prevention is offered to homeowners across the state. A number of services are offered as part of the foreclosure counseling and assistance programs. The resources offered will depend on the homeowners personal and financial situation, but can include one or more of the following. Massachusetts homeowners can get help with applying for mortgage refinancing, loan modifications, or interest rate reductions. Always keep in mind that if you rent and your unit is foreclosed upon, that tenants are protected by both federal government and state of Massachusetts laws and homeowners do not have to move out right away. Read more mortgage help.
Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP), the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), as well as Section 8 all provide tenant-based vouchers. These government supported housing vouchers will in effect help low-income individuals and families pay their rent and housing expenses, and are all based on some form of Section 8 housing vouchers.
Low income public housing is safe, high quality yet affordable government-owned rental housing. It is currently offered for low to moderate-income families with children, people with disabilities, seniors, and even single individuals.
Another low income housing program is provided by private developers and owners. A certain number of privately owned housing and apartments in Massachusetts are set aside for low income families. The big difference in this program is that the housing is owned by private housing developers, not the federal or state government. How it works is that the housing owners will charge lower monthly rents and deposits, and the government gives the owners credits or grants to make up the difference.
Programs can help people either buy or repair a home too. Homebuyer and Homeowner assistance programs in Massachusetts can help families repair and/or buy either single or multi-family homes. Specifically, qualified homebuyers may be eligible for down payment and closing costs assistance, low mortgage interest rates, foreclosure help, mortgage insurance, homebuyer counseling, and lead paint removal assistance.
The disabled and seniors may qualify for Supportive Housing and Long-Term Care. Programs can help qualified Massachusetts residents who cannot live safely on their own. Supportive housing and long-term care option is available to qualified individuals and it can include affordable private housing with support services and long-term group care facilities with full-time medical staff to help.
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development provides Emergency Financial Assistance (EA). Families with children and/or pregnant women who are homeless can get housing and rent assistance. The EA program provides emergency shelter, short term transitional housing and help finding permanent housing. Emergency Assistance and housing is run by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Short term transitional housing and shelters give short term temporary housing and support services to the homeless in Massachusetts. Some shelters that are open are for single adult men and women without children, some focus on families with children, and some are specifically for runaway teens and teen parents. Transitional housing programs provide many support services and case management to help homeless people find housing, pay security deposits and live independently.
Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) is a homelessness prevention program that gives emergency and short-term rental assistance. Cash aid is offered for low-income families who are at risk of eviction and becoming homeless. Assistance is also provided for people who are currently homeless. The RAFT program helps families who are behind on mortgage payments, rent, heating or utility bills. RAFT may also be able to help families who have to move but do not have enough money to pay utility startup costs, a security deposit, or can provide cash for first/last month’s rent.
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) may also be able to help those struggling with their rent. Resources can help at-risk individuals and families who only need short-term financial assistance to address their emergency. Massachusetts homeless may also be able to benefit from this program. HPRP provides financial help by offering rental assistance, hotel/motel vouchers, back rent, utility bills and arrearages, security deposits, and even moving and storage costs.
To learn more about all government supported rent, mortgage, and housing programs in Massachusetts, dial 1-800-224-5124.
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