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

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Paying my rent

If you live in Massachusetts, please call 2-1-1 for assistance and more information.

Massachusetts's state eviction and foreclosure moratorium expired on October 17, 2020. There is a federal eviction moratorium in place, set to expire on December 31, 2020. However, renters and tenants must meet a set of requirements and file a declaration with their landlord in order to be covered under this moratorium. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has fact sheets and sample declarations in multiple languages available for renters.

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 learn if you are eligible for rental assistance (see the next paragraph). You can also reach out to a Legal Aid Office in your area. Please review this list and contact for Legal Aid Organizations in Massachusetts.

To find and apply for rental financial assistance like RAFT or ERMA, 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 collectively provide housing resources for the entire state. You can also contact the Lawyers for Civil Rights RAFT Application Assistance Initiative for help completing a Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) application. 

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 Excel sheet and contact information for local emergency rental assistance programs across the state. This information will be updated monthly. You can reach out to Dana LeWinter with any questions on the local emergency rental assistance programs or how to use this spreadsheet.

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.

Paying my mortgage

If you live in Massachusetts, please call 2-1-1 for assistance and more information.

Massachusetts's state eviction and foreclosure moratorium expired on October 17, 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.

The 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.

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.

Per the Regional Housing Network (RHN): Massachusetts Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) are 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.
 

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

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 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.