Boston Assistance Programs

Find information on agencies and programs for Boston below. In addition, a more extensive list of Suffolk  County and additional resources for Boston can be found. Click here to learn more.

Mainstream Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

This program provides rental assistance vouchers to enable individuals with disabilities to access affordable private housing of their choice in Boston. (617) 988-4200.

Boston Designated Housing Program

Provides rental help and rental assistance vouchers to non-elderly disabled individuals. This agency can also be contacted at (617) 988-4200.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

This is a Federal program that was created for assisting the elderly, very low income families,  and to help the disabled in Boston to afford safe, decent, and sanitary housing in the private market. Participants in this program are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and the program is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. The Boston Housing Authority administers this housing program. Find additional ways to get help with rent.

Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.

This organization, which is also known as ABCD, has a goal of providing Boston residents with long-term self-sufficiency. However they realize that sometimes things happen and people need short term help with bills, rent, and more. Therefore ABCD also offers a number of assistance programs that will help families and individuals through these times of financial crisis and emergencies, including offering fuel assistance in winter, short term help with paying monthly rent, eviction prevention services, and access to food pantries.

In regards to rental assistance, the staff works with people to prevent them from being evicted, from falling into homelessness and it will even help families move into a home they can afford over the long term. The Action for Boston Community Development organization ABCD also helps families and individuals and families who are behind in their utility bills, monthly rent, or facing eviction.





They provide thousands of local residents with help paying their heating and utility bills and provide them direct cash grants and financial assistance. They also offer other programs that help people with their energy bills, and these are primarily energy conservation programs. They have a weatherization program that can help people save 25-35% on their winter heating bills. They offer a program that will repair or replace heating systems if they are inoperable or inefficient.

Just a few of the other programs offered are health care programs, free and discounted food at several food pantries, career development and job training, and also early child care. They are located at 178 Tremont Street in Boston, and the phone number is (617) 357-6000.

Find additional ways to get help with bills in Boston and Middlesex County, including additional details on community action organizations.

Foreclosure Help and Assistance Programs

With the housing crisis still going strong, you may be able to get free foreclosure help from Ensuring Stability through Action in our Community (617.524.2555). This agency offers several housing programs, including counselors who are dedicated to safeguarding homeownership and preventing the foreclosure of homes in Boston by fighting unscrupulous banks, mortgage lenders and brokers. Also, they have programs for home repairs, such as helping seniors and low income families with house repairs so they can stay in their homes. Counselors can also refer people to other Massachusetts mortgage programs. Learn more.


Boston Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program

The state of Massachusetts has awarded the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (phone number (617) 859-0400) millions of dollars in federal government stimulus funding. The money will go towards the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program, which is aimed at helping people pay their rent and utility bills. The primary goal is to ensure people are able to stay in their homes.

The Housing Partnership and a partner agency, Heading Home, will be administering and disbursing the funds through the federal stimulus program.

The program is wide ranging and extensive. It would provide individuals and families with a $1,000-a-month housing subsidy for one year while requiring families to pay 30 percent of their gross income toward their monthly rent. However, the aid doesn’t stop there. Participants can also receive money to pay their energy bills, pay for moving costs, and even credit counseling.

That is just one example of a Boston low income housing program. Click here to get information on other low income housing and rent programs.





Crisis Assistance

One place to turn to for a host of services is Catholic Charities of Boston ((617) 482-5440). They have over 15 offices around the city. They provide what is called Basin Needs, which is really a form of emergency assistance. Catholic Charities is able to provide a wide range of support and services to people who need help, including food pantries, rent and mortgage assistance, utility and heating bill assistance, assistance in providing furniture, clothing and other necessities, baby supplies, and the organization can even offer seasonal and holiday assistance for individuals and families who cannot afford a warm meal at Thanksgiving or gifts for their children at Christmas. Read more.

The Salvation Army also administers several services. Contact this agency for help with rent, food assistance, and even money to prevent a utility or heating service disconnection. (617) 536-5260.

The ABCD community action agency (phone number above) receives a high volume of demand from Boston residents for low income heating and energy assistance programs. Call them to learn about services they can provide, or read Massachusetts heating bill assistance programs.

Free legal assistance in Boston

Thousands of local families can’t afford to get equal legal representation. That is where Greater Boston Legal Services may be able to help. This non-profit law firm provides low income, the elderly, unemployed, and many others access to free legal aid for civil cases. For example, you may be able to receive free legal assistance for a foreclosure, advice to prevention an eviction or utility disconnection, help with family disputes, and more. Call 617-371-1234 for legal help, or read more on Boston Massachusetts legal assistance.

Job finding assistance

An organization that helps people over 45 find a job is Operation A.B.L.E (Ability Based Upon Long Experience). The group provides job finding services and assistance, employment, career development and training opportunities to mature workers 45 and older from economically, racially and occupationally diverse backgrounds. Many people will qualify for help. 617.542.4180.

The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts (617.442.4519) also has job training programs that can help people find employment, and improve skills they may already have.




Free health and dental care in Boston Massachusetts

There are several public health and community clinics around the city and immediate area. A listing is below. While the exact type of services offered at each clinic will vary widely, in general they offer primary care, dental assistance, pediatrics, medical counseling, podiatry, and adult day services. Details of the medical services include HIV testing, weight management, community clinics, women's health centers, dental care, eye care, general counseling services, pediatrics, podiatry/foot care, case/care management, and adolescent/youth counseling. Or find information on child care from Boston Head Start non-profits and agencies.

The free dental and community clinics include: North End Community Health Center ((617) 643 - 8000), Boston Health Care for the Homeless ((857) 654 - 1000), CHA East Cambridge Health Center, Gore Street ((617) 665 - 3000), South End Community Health Center ((617) 425 - 2000), Harbor Family Health Center (617) 269 - 0312). About 15 other clinics and health centers operate around the city, and find additional Boston clinics and get information on the services they offer.


Learn about additional Suffolk County programs.


By Jon McNamara

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