Are you Impacted by COVID-19 and Need Immediate Assistance?

I need help...

Paying my rent

If you live in Massachusetts, please call 2-1-1 for assistance and more information. You can also visit the state's COVID-19 housing website.

Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends

On August 26, 2021, the United State Supreme Court ended the federal eviction moratorium enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent ion (CDC).

However, in Massachusetts, certain state eviction protections remain in place. Most importantly, state law requires courts to delay eviction cases if there is a pending application for emergency rental assistance applications. This protection is in place through April 1, 2022. 

    I have received a Notice to Quit. What should I do?

    If you have received a Notice to Quit, you do not need to immediately leave your home. You are entitled to a legal proceeding in which you can defend against the eviction. Only a court order can force you to leave your home.

    If you have received a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent, do not ignore or discard it. You should immediately contact your landlord to try to work out a payment plan or contact your local housing consumer education center to apply for emergency rental assistance.

    You can also reach out immediately to a Legal Aid Office in your area. Please review this list and contact for Legal Aid Organizations in Massachusetts.

    Where can I find emergency rental assistance to help pay my rent?

    To find and apply for emergency rental assistance, you should reach out to a rental counselor or Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) in your region. HCECs are the regional one-stop shop for all things housing and provide housing resources across the entire state.

    You can also contact the Lawyers for Civil Rights Application Assistance Initiative for help completing an application for emergency rental assistance. 

    There may be a local emergency rental assistance program specific to your city or town that you can apply for. Visit the Housing Toolbox for a comprehensive list and contact information for local emergency rental assistance programs across the state. You can reach out to Dana LeWinter with any questions on the local emergency rental assistance programs or how to use this list.

    If you live in the City of Boston, Financial Navigators are available to provide free guidance over the phone to help residents access programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns as a result of COVID-19. Residents can access the Financial Navigator service by completing this web form or calling 617-356-8229 to sign up for personal help.

    Paying my mortgage

    If you live in Massachusetts, please call 2-1-1 for assistance and more information. You can also visit the state's COVID-19 housing website.

    What should I do if I can't pay my mortgage?

    The Biden administration extended a federal foreclosure moratorium until July 31, 2021.

    The federal mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window has also been extended until July 31, 2021, with up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance available, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020.

    If you are currently unable to pay all of part of your mortgage due to the COVID-19 crisis, your first step should be to contact your lender/servicer. Submit a request to your lender/servicer stating you are experiencing a financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency. Keep in mind that your mortgage relief options will depend on who owns or backs your mortgage, so you will need to figure out who services your mortgage. Please see CHAPA's document for more detailed information on how to find your mortgage servicer and how to understand forbearance and other homeowner remedies.

    Do I qualify for protection under the CARES Act?

    Federal CARES Act provides protections for owner-occupants of 1-4 family properties with mortgages that are federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed or funded (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). You can learn about your options, find out if you qualify, and request forbearance or mortgage relief by visiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website. If you have an FHFA loan, visit the FHFA website for more help.

    How do I know which mortgage relief option is best?

    Foreclosure counselors are another valuable resource that can provide assistance in assessing which mortgage relief options may be best for you. Foreclosure counseling services are offered at no charge to you throughout Massachusetts. Massachusetts Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) are also a great resource, as the regional one-stop shop for all things housing and collectively provide housing resources for the entire state. During the confusion and uncertainty of COVID-19, experienced HCEC counselors provide answers and help.

    If you live in the City of Boston, Financial Navigators are available to provide free guidance over the phone to help residents access programs and services to manage income disruptions and other financial concerns as a result of COVID-19. Residents can simply access the Financial Navigator service by completing this web form or calling 617-356-8229 to sign up for personal help.

    Finding shelter

    Emergency Assistance - Family Homeless Shelters
    If you are a family seeking shelter, please call 1-866-584-0653. Please note the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is not taking in-person or online applications during the COVID-19 crisis, so you must call the number above to speak with a Homeless Coordinator. More information available on Mass.gov's website.

    Emergency Shelter Assistance for Individuals
    List of individual homeless shelters in Massachusetts, maintained by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Visit: https://hedfuel.azurewebsites.net/iShelters.aspx

    DHCD Housing Resource Locator
    Use this site by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to access local housing resources, including local housing authorities, regional housing agencies, and emergency shelter providers, by municipality. Select your community using the drop down at the top.

    Greater Boston Legal Services' COVID-19 Shelter Updates (3/24/2020)
     

    Putting food on the table

    Project Bread has put together a comprehensive list of food resources on their website. Call their toll-free hotline to connect to food resources in your community and for help applying to the food assistance program, SNAP: 1-800-645-8333 / TTY 1-800-377-1292.

    This flyer outlines the basics of SNAP food assistance, formerly known as food stamps. If you have lost your job or your income due to COVID-19, please use the resources in this flyer to determine eligibility, apply, check the status of your application, etc.

    Home delivered meals for Older adults:
    Some older adults may qualify to receive home delivered meals from Meals on Wheels/Ethos in Boston. If you, or someone you know, is 60 or older and is interested in receiving meals delivered to their home, please call 617-477-6606 or visit https://www.ethocare.org/nutrition/meals-on-wheels/.

    Accessing legal aid

    The Massachusetts COVID Eviction Legal Help program gives free legal help to low-income tenants and owner-occupants living in 2- or 3-family houses in Massachusetts. Visit the COVID Eviction Legal Help Project's website for more information and how to access legal assistance.

    Use the Legal Resource Finder for information on legal aid programs, nonprofits, government agencies, and court programs that may be able to help you with your legal issue for free or at a low cost.

    Contact a local Legal Aid or Tenant Organization in your area:

    • Eastern Region Legal Intake Helpline : 617-603-1700
    • Essex County Bar Association Lawyer for a Day Program: (978) 500-5790
    • Greater Boston Legal Services: 617-603-1807
    • MetroWest Legal Services: 508-620-1830
    • South Coastal Counties Legal Services: 1-800-244-9023
    • Northeast Legal Aid: 978-458-1465, 1-800-336-2262
    • Community Legal Aid: 855-252-5342

    File a complaint with the Attorney General's Office if:

    • Your landlord tries to force you out of your home. Or,
    • You think your landlord is violating the moratorium.

    The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) strongly encourages tenants and landlords to learn about legal help as well as community mediation resources. Eligible tenants and landlords should seek help as soon as possible before a court filing occurs. Please call 2-1-1 for assistance and more information, or see the flyers below:

    Go to www.MassLRF.org -- the short search asks for location, household size and income, as well as the type of case anyone needs help with.  The search results will give contact information for legal services and other programs that may be able to help.

    Check out MLRI's most updated webpage www.MassLegalHelp.org/COVID-19, which will address common questions related to legal rights and the COVID-19 pandemic

     

    Finding childcare

    Find a list of emergency drop-in care in Massachusetts. This is not business as usual. The emergency programs by Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) open represent about 5% of normal child care capacity across the Commonwealth. This is drop-in, temporary child care that is being made available to those who are working for essential business like healthcare and have no other option for care during this public health crisis. 

    EEC has updated their website with FAQs, more information about Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs and specific information for child care providersparents and guardians and early educators.

     

    Getting a Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

    If you or a family member or friend is a MassHealth member who receives hands-on support from a PCA but is short PCAs during the COVID-19 outbreak, call the MassOptions hotline at 1-844-422-6277 to obtain home health aide services.

    Download the letter provided by MassHealth for PCAs/workers to show they are an essential employee. You can also find this letter as well as more resources on PCAs on the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) website.

     

    Applying for Unemployment

    Filing for Unemployment
    Mass.gov has a page for Important COVID-19 Unemployment Information where you can apply for unemployment online, find FAQs, and sign up to attend a virtual town hall on applying for unemployment assistance.

    Attorney General's Guidance for Employers and Employees
    When to use sick time? What are the qualifications for unemployment? How to get a loan for small business? Check out the Attorney General’s COVID-19 FAQs for Employee Rights and Employer Obligations, which is available in multiple languages.
     

    Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

    Learn when can you get a COVID-19 vaccine. Residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing are included in the first tier of Phase Two of vaccine deployment in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which we anticipate to begin in late February. 

    Getting tested for COVID-19

    Mass.gov's website has a portal to find a testing site near you, review COVID-19 symptoms, and learn about next steps if your test is positive.