Many tenants have lost jobs and income due to COVID and are having a hard time paying the rent! Although in Massachusetts there is an Eviction Moratorium for non-payment of rent through October 17, back rent will still be due, after that date.
Section 8 or Public Housing tenants can receive a rent reduction for a loss of income. If you lose your job or your income drops, Section 8 tenants can request an “interim recertification” to lower their rent, to 30% of their new, reduced household income. All Section 8 tenants have this right!
Tenants with “Project-Based” Section 8 can request a rent reduction from their landlord retroactive to the first of the month following the loss of income. Section 8 Voucher or Public Housing tenants can request a rent adjustment from their Housing Authority, generally effective the month after the request is made.
Some Massachusetts tenants who pay a fixed monthly “Tax Credit” or “Market” rent, under their lease lose a job or income, their rents are NOT automatically reduced, to reflect the lost income. However, these families can apply for emergency rental assistance from the state.
For Market tenants who earn less than $96,250/year for a family of four or $77,000/year for two people, the State has created the Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) Fund to help tenants who are unable to pay the rent. Eligible families can apply for up to $4,000 to cover back rent owed since April 1, 2020. Funds are not guaranteed; applicants must document loss of income and how much rent they owe in order to apply.
Also, tenants whose incomes have dropped to less than $63,950 for a family of four, or $51,200 for two people, can apply for additional rent relief, from another State program called RAFT. RAFT can now provide up to $10,000 rent relief, if you are a first time applicant. Even if you used RAFT funds in recent years new funds are still available to you. Immigrant families can apply for ERMA or RAFT. Section 8 and Public Housing tenants can also apply for RAFT.
Funds are limited, and competitive! Don’t be caught short, the Eviction Moratorium ends October 17!
Tenants in Project Based Section 8 housing should contact their landlord. Section 8 Voucher or Public Housing tenants should contact the Housing Authority where you recertify. Market rate or “Tax Credit” tenants in Greater Boston can apply for ERMA and RAFT by contacting MetroHousing <give the link to “resources” and the phone number>.Funds are limited, and competitive! Don’t be caught short, the Eviction Moratorium ends October 17!
Tenants in Project Based Section 8 housing should contact their landlord. Section 8 Voucher or Public Housing tenants should contact the Housing Authority where you recertify. Market rate or “Tax Credit” tenants in Greater Boston can apply for ERMA and RAFT by contacting MetroHousing.