Apply for Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance for Renters & Homeowners

RCAP Solutions serves as the regional Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) for Worcester County and administers financial assistance programs such as Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA), and the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

These programs can provide eligible households with funding that can be used to help stay in current housing, obtain new housing, pay their mortgage, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless.

Tenants, Homeowners, and Landlords
CLICK HERE
to Apply for Financial Assistance

Need to upload additional documents after submitting your online application? CLICK HERE for the online portal.

If you are unable to access or submit an online application, please email us at HCEC@rcapsolutions.org or call us at 978-630-6771 for assistance.


Important Links

    • To learn more about Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Programs, click here.

 

    • To learn more about submitting a complete application, eligibility and required documents, click here.

 

  • If you are facing eviction and need financial, legal, or mediation help, click here.

Information For Landlords

Landlords can begin the application process for their tenants who may need to request financial assistance for overdue rent.

If you are a landlord/property owner applying for Emergency Housing Payment Assistance (i.e. RAFT, ERMA, or ERAP) on behalf of your tenant, you must ask that your tenant complete and sign THIS FORM. Please note that some sections of the form must be completed by the landlord/property owner.

Property owners may also be eligible for mortgage assistance if they are at risk of foreclosure on their primary residence. Use the same application above to apply.

Discrimination by a landlord is prohibited.

Landlords should be aware that Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws prohibits discrimination by a landlord against any tenant receiving federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including rental assistance or rental supplements, because the individual is such a recipient.

A landlord's refusal to accept emergency rental assistance, that covers the entire amount owed to the landlord, may, in some circumstances, constitute a violation of Chapter 151B.  Landlords should consult their own legal counsel for advice before declining rental assistance that covers all outstanding rent arrears.

Additional Information

Household qualifications vary by program. For example, a household that does not qualify for ERAP may still qualify for RAFT or ERMA. All households that fall within the parameters below should apply. Our staff will determine the program for which they are eligible.

Additionally, households that have already received RAFT or ERMA may receive ERAP as well, as long as the programs do not cover the same expenses for the same month.

Eligible households include:

  • Individuals, families with or without children, and unaccompanied youth
  • Household income must be at or below 80% area median income (AMI)
  • Household must provide proof that they are currently experiencing a housing crisis
It is very important that applications are submitted with the following documentation. Submitting a complete application will ensure a quicker processing time, resulting in funds being delivered sooner.

  • ID for the head of household
  • Proof of housing crisis (for example, an eviction notice or letter saying you're behind on rent)
  • Proof of housing (for example, a lease)
  • Proof of income (for example, paystubs)
Tenants and homeowners applying for assistance can learn more about required documentation here.

Landlords applying for assistance can learn more about required documentation here.
Program funds can be used for housing-related expenses only. Appropriate uses of funds include, but are not limited to:

  • Rental or mortgage arrearages
  • Short-term rental stipend
  • Security deposits
  • First and last month’s rent
  • Utility arrearages
  • Employment-related transportation costs
RCAP Solutions administers financial assistance funds to all of Worcester County and a handful of the surrounding towns. If your household resides outside of the area outlined below, visit mahousinghelp.com to find your provider.

Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC): HCEC is the first point of contact for anyone interested in RCAP Solutions housing counseling, programs, and resources.

Senior, Family, & Mobility Impaired Housing: RCAP Solutions manages several affordable apartment complexes for seniors, families, and individuals with disabilities/mobility impairments. We have units in Athol, Bolton, Bolyston, Groton, Hubbardston, Northbridge, Townsend, Webster, and Worcester.

Independent Living Programs: RCAP Solutions provides a comprehensive array of elder service programs which can assist our aging population as well as those who have a disability.
Community Healthlink: Mental illness, substance use, and homelessness recovery services.

Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA): Direct economic assistance (cash benefits), food assistance (SNAP benefits), and workforce training opportunities.

Eviction Legal Help: Free legal help to low-income tenants who are facing eviction.

Find Emergency Family Shelter: If you are in need of Massachusetts shelter services.

Fuel Assistance: Get help paying for heating your house or apartment.

MA Attorney General's Office: Consumer Advocacy & Response Division

Resolution Massachusetts (Housing Mediation): Mediaton Centers can help tenants and landlords resolve disputes and find flexible solutions that work for everyone.

SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps): Provides a monthly benefit to buy nutritious foods.

Women, Infants, & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program: Keeps pregnant and breastfeeding women and kids under 5 healthy.
Discriminating against someone because they receive public assistance is illegal.

If you are a tenant who has been denied housing due to your Section 8 voucher or if your landlord has refused RAFT or other rental assistance payments, the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center can help.

Check out the flyer below or visit www.massfairhousing.org for more information.


Specialized Services

RCAP Solutions can assist individuals and families with specialized services which includes; assistance with applying for emergency funding, gaining access to mental health and substance abuse centers, and obtaining public benefits and legal help. This intensive, personalized case management is pivotal in engaging households and stabilizing them in their communities. Click here for more information.


Find Housing

Our staff can can help you navigate a sometimes complicated housing market. RCAP Solutions is a resource to help you find and keep safe housing that you can afford. To begin your search for housing, contact us today.

Alternatively, you can start your search on your own by visiting AffordableHousing.com. Users can search this website by a number of different criteria to find available housing in the area. In addition, landlords with available units to lease may add them to the list.


Questions? Contact Us!

Please note, our office is closed to the public at this time and visits are by appointment only or for paperwork drop off.