Emergency Financial Rental Assistance

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts now requires all renter and landlord applications and documents to be uploaded directly into their system.

Berkshire Housing is no longer allowed to accept documents by email or to upload them for applicants. Renters, homeowners and landlords must set up their accounts online. However, if you are unable to access or submit an online application, please contact 413-499-1630 ext. 168 or hcecintake@berkshirehousing.com for assistance.

For households applying to RAFT for assistance with rent arrears, a notice to quit or eviction notice/court summons is now required.

RAFT does not serve homeowners. Homeowners may access mortgage and other assistance through the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).

For Renters

The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. RAFT provides qualifying households with up to $10,000 per household in a 12-month period to preserve current housing or move to new housing. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent. For households applying to RAFT for assistance with rent arrears, a notice to quit or eviction notice/court summons is now required. Renters or landlords can apply by submitting an online application.

For Landlords

Landlords can begin the application process for their tenants who may need to request financial assistance for overdue rent. For guidance on how to apply and create a landlord profile, please visit this state website: 

RAFT Public Resource and Training Portal | Mass.gov

Facing Eviction?

Free legal aid is available to assist low-income tenants with referrals, legal information, and legal representation for evictions statewide. More information is available here, or you can go to https://hedfuel.azurewebsites.net/ to find a legal aid program near you. Massachusetts Community Mediation Centers also offer free pre-court mediation between landlords and tenants for COVID-19 related lease disputes in addition to the summary process cases referred through the courts.