Massachusetts eviction prevention and homeless assistance programs.
Massachusetts residents that are struggling with their rent and that are facing eviction can get help from Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) or other government funded programs. There is also assistance available for any individual that is currently homeless, and that can include rehousing, shelter, or one time assistance for paying a security deposit.
Residents with an eviction notice, and that are imminent risk of homelessness, may be able to receive financial aid and stabilization services. Resources are limited, and are generally offered on a first come and served basis to those that qualify.
Non-profits in Massachusetts may offer funds to pay back rent, if it will stop an eviction. Or if that is not an option, then case managers will work with the client on finding them a new, low income home or apartment to live in. Whenever possible, ESG will provide financial assistance or cash grants to prevent homelessness. In some cases, low interest loans are issued for paying housing expenses, including a security deposit. Another key focus is on self-sufficiency and case management. The goal is to help the participant maintain their housing over the long term.
Any resident that is currently homeless may also qualify for assistance. The Massachusetts rapid re-housing program may be able to help those who lack the financial resources and support networks they need.
As part of this process, clients may be placed into short term, transitional housing. There are units available for the disabled, single parents, seniors, or veteran. Government funding, including from Continuum of Care and ESG, are used to pay for many of the shelter facilities. Those who stay at the housing units in Massachusetts will also receive ongoing case management.
After clients of a transitional facility gain stability (such as employment and a stronger financial footing) Massachusetts may be able to help them pay first month's rent, a utility hookup fee, or a portion of a security deposit. The home or apartment selected most be low income and affordable over the long term.
Whether seeking one emergency rental assistance or help for paying other bills (such as utility or a deposit fee), all funding is limited and comes with conditions. Most of the aid paid out is the result of an annual federal government grant process, and the money will run out each year. However, the various non-profit organizations and charities in Massachusetts will do their best to help as many people as possible. If they can't meet someone's needs, then referrals may be provided to other resources.
There are several other social services available, as many other agencies also work to stop evictions and even home foreclosures for that matter. Some other possibilities are below.
- Free legal aid and representation from pro-bono law firms. Get information on the state of Massachusetts rules and regulations when it comes to evictions.
- Mediation services for landlords and tenants.
- Financial assistance for paying other expenses that could lead to homelessness if they were unpaid, such as utility, water, or heating bills.
- Veterans and the disabled that are facing evictions also have other HUD programs available to them (such as SSVF) and case managers can advise on these.
- Foreclosure counseling may be offered to those faced with losing their home. Some of the organizations are HUD certified and can direct homeowners to mortgage programs.
- Other options include public housing, section 8 vouchers, and low income, privately owned apartments.
Another potential solution for the homeless is an emergency shelter. This will get someone off the streets. They will be provided free meals, case management, and then information on longer term solutions, such as rehousing. So if the individual is facing a crisis and needs immediate assistance, there are shelters across Massachusetts. Many of those centers are also funded by Emergency Solutions Grant.
Massachusetts agencies to contact for eviction help and rehousing
MW Legal Services, 508-620-1830
SMOC (JUST A START), MA Balance of State, 617-494-0444
Father Bill's/MainSpring, Inc., Plymouth/Bristol, Brockton and Quincy - phone 617.770.3314.
MHSA/HomeStart, Boston, telephone 617-542-0338
Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC), Cape/Islands, 508-771-5400
Catholic SS of Fall River, Fall River, Attleboro, and New Bedford. Dial (508) 674-4681
MHA of Greater Springfield, Tri-City Western, 413 734-5376
Tri-Cap (Just A Start, Housing Families, Inc), Tri-City/Malde
Bay COVE, Boston
Berkshire Community Dev. Corp, Pittsfield/Berks, call 413-499-1630
Berkshire Community Reg. H. A. Corp, Pittsfield/Berks, main phone 413-499-7138
Brookline Mental Health Center, Brookline Lolita Gonsalves-Alston, call 617-277-8107
Community Action Franklin/Hamp/NQ, Tri-County, 413-552-1554
Emmaus, Inc., Lawrence, 978-241-3435
Emmaus, Inc., North Shore, 978-241-3435
Somerville Homeless Coalition, Somerville, 617-623-6111
Catholic Charities Springfield, (413) 452-0605
City of Cambridge/Homestart Rapid Re-Housing, main phone (617) 349-6332
Central Mass Housing Alliance (CMHA), Worcester County - CMHA Office (508) 752-5519
Lowell Transitional Living Center, Lowell, 978-458-9888
Local non-profits and government homeless prevention services
Agencies, ranging from law firms to social service organizations and non-profits, support low income tenants. Based on merit, assistance including grants for a deposit or rent, a legal review of a vacate notice, and other services are provided in Massachusetts.
City of Lowell organizations
Community Teamwork, Inc., Lowell, dial 978-459-0551
Eliot Community Human Services, Homelessness Prevention, Lowell, 978-738-4543
House of Hope, Inc., Lowell, main phone 978-458-2870
Lowell Transitional Living Center, 978-458-9888
Lowell Transitional Living Center, Rapid Re-Housing, dial 978-458-9888
Springfield Massachusetts region
Catholic Charities Rapid Re-Housing, Springfield, telephone - (413) 452-0605
HAP Housing, Springfield, call 413-233-1601
Friends of the Homeless, Springfield, main phone 413-732-3069
MHA of Greater Springfield, Tenancy Preservation, Tri-City Western, 413 734-5376
Springfield Partners for Community Action, main phone 413-263-6500
County of Worcester
Central Mass Housing Alliance, Worcester, dial 774-243-3810
Friendly House, Worcester, 508-755-4362
Catholic Charities Homelessness Prevention, Worcester, main phone 508-860-2225
VETERANS INC., Worcester, 508-791-1213
SMOC Triage Center, Worcester, call the agency at 508-757-0103
Community Legal Aid - Homelessness Prevention Services - 508-752-3718
City of Cambridge - Call DHCD Emergency Assistance Program at 1-877-785-2020 before contacting an agency below.
Heading Home, Inc., (617) 864-8140
City of Cambridge, (617) 349-6332
City of Quincy
Quincy Community Action
Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS), phone 617-623-7370
Catholic Charities, Somerville, 617-625-1920
Somerville Homeless Coalition Rapid Re-Housing, main phone 617-623-6111
Transition House, Somerville, dial 617-868-1650
Catholic Social Services Rapid Re-Housing
Catholic Social Services of New Bedford Massachusetts
New Bedford Women's Center (NBWC)
People Acting in Community Endeavers (PACE)
Lynn Housing Authority Development Group, (781) 581-8620