Apply for Financial Assistance

Difficulty paying your rent? Financial Assistance is available.

For individuals and families who have lost income or are struggling to pay expenses due to a hardship, there are programs that can help.

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

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.

Important Emergency Rental Assistance Update

The federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) stopped accepting applications on April 15, 2022. Households can still apply for rental assistance from the more targeted, state-funded Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program.

Applications for rental assistance received after April 15th will be considered for assistance under the more targeted state-funded RAFT program, subject to funding availability. Households can apply by submitting an online application. The state RAFT program may provide up to $7,000 for rent and other housing costs, including moving expenses.

Homeowners can continue to access the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).

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.

Information For Homeowners

At this time, the MA Emergency Housing payment Assistance Application is not accepting applications from homeowners. Homeowners in need of mortgage assistance or other housing assistance may apply for the new Homeowner Assistance Fund (MA HAF) Program. Please visit this link to learn more about HAF and to see if you may be eligible. To apply to Mass HAF, visit www.massmortgagehelp.org.


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 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

Eligible households include:

  • Individuals, families with or without children, and unaccompanied youth
  • Household income must be at or below 50% 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:

  • Rent arrears
  • Short-term rental stipend
  • Security deposits
  • Start-up costs (if moving to a new apartment)
  • First and last month's rent
  • Employment-related transportation costs
RCAP Solutions administers financial assistance funds to all of Worcester County and a handful of the surrounding towns. Click here for a map of our service area.

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 this flyer 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.


Video: Financial Assistance Programs Keep Struggling Families Safely Housed