COVID-19 Resources: Housing

Rent Assistance

Behind on your rent?  Received a notice to quit?

There are three rental assistance options available: the State, the City of Waltham and WATCH.

1) ERAP- Emergency Rental Assistance Program
New federal program for rental assistance- ERAP (replacing RAFT as the primary funding for rental assistance through Metro Housing Boston)
Eligibility: 80% AMI Income limit
Income reduced by at least one family member due to COVID-19 pandemic
Rent: All rent owed + 3 months of future payments (total 12 months max) $10,000 limit does not apply.
Utilities: up to $1,500 of utilities overdue
How to apply:
Apply here starting 3/22/21: https://www.metrohousingboston.org
Need an update on an application?  If you applied for assistance to Metro Housing Boston online and it’s been more than 3 weeks, you can contact Metro Housing Boston to get a status update.  Email HCECreferrals@metrohousingboston.org or call 617-544-9330. If you applied through WATCH, please contact Daisy at daisy@watchcdc.org or 781-570-4423.

WATCH Tenant Assistance Fund

Due to generous donations, state funding, and a grant from the Foundation for Metrowest, WATCH has opened round 3 of our tenant assistance fund.  Applications will be accepted as long as funding is available.  Please allow 2 weeks from the date of your application before hearing back from WATCH.

Eligibility: For Waltham tenants with income loss due to Covid pandemic who are not eligible for RAFT or ERAP and who are behind on their rent.
Rent: Initial grant of up to $3,000, possible 2nd grant.
Fill out the application Here: Application Form.
 If you have questions about whether you qualify contact Suzi at Suzi@watchcdc.org or 781-570-4394
  • Tenants must be low-income and show COVID related income or job loss.
  • Grant is given directly to tenant to pay rent and is not considered taxable income.
  • Immigration status is not considered in this grant.
Fill out the application Here:  Application Form.
If you have questions about whether you qualify contact Suzi at Suzi@watchcdc.org  or 781-570-4394

Waltham City Fund 

Eligibility: For Waltham tenants who have a notice to quit or eviction notice from landlord or court. More info on eligibility here: Program Guidelines
Rent: 3 months of rental payments based on size of apartment: 1 Bedroom $1200/month: 2 Bedroom $1,500/month: 3 Bedroom $1,800/month.
How to apply:

Take Action to Prevent Eviction

There is currently a Federal Eviction Moratorium effective till July 31, 2021. 

What should you do? 
If you owe rent, pay what you can, and communicate with your landlord.  In order to be protected under the federal eviction moratorium, you must sign the declaration 

Please read the form carefully.  If the form applies to you, sign it, and give it to your landlord – in person or by taking a picture and sending by text/ email.  If you deliver it in person, take a picture of the completed form for your records.

Need a Declaration Form?  
The printable form is here: declaration

Paper copies can be picked up at:
Waltham Public Library (entrance by the parking lot), Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4 pm. WATCH office at 24 Crescent Street, Suite 201, (next to our front door entrance on Crescent Street) Monday – Friday 9am to 7:30pm.

Need Help?
If a landlord is harassing you or threatening to evict you, please call Suzi at 781-891-6689 x203 or 781-570-4394 or send an email to suzi@watchcdc.org.

Want to learn more? 

Eviction moratorium fact sheet


Tenant Resources

You have rights as a tenant and if you are being harassed by your landlord please seek help.

Tienes derechos como inquilino y si estás siendo acosado por tu propietario, busca ayuda.

WATCH Flyer re Harrassment

WATCH Flyer re Harrassment (ESP)


Legal Resources if you are facing eviction: 

  1. If you are behind on your rent, apply for rental assistance. 

Chapter 257 of the Massachusetts General Laws, states that an Eviction can be delayed if the tenant has applied for emergency rental assistance. If you are behind on rent, please apply for rental assistance here

https://www.chapa.org/housing-news/governor-signs-eviction-protection-law

  1. Find out which court will hear your case: 

Depending on where the landlord files the case, it can be heard in either the Waltham district court or in the northeastern housing court. Look at your court summons to see which court your case will be heard in.

You can look up the status of your case or ask questions of the court clerk here:

Northeast Housing Court

Waltham District Court

Guide to MA remote hearings

  1. Get legal assistance- Call these agencies to get legal representation. 

Housing Families - 781-322-9119, ext. 146. probonolegalteam@housingfamilies.org

Provides free legal advice and assistance through "lawyer for a day" program at the Northeastern Housing Court in Woburn. Clients whose cases are in Waltham District court can also contact this office for help.

Provides "Limited assistance representation” and will refer cases if more legal help is needed than they can provide.

For information about other legal services for people with low incomes, contact: 

  • Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder 
  • Greater Boston Legal Services, 617-371-1234 or 1-800-323-3205 Monday-Friday, 9 am - 12 pm, Emergency housing situations, immigration asylum cases, denial of benefits, domestic violence, unemployment denial, job related issues, and other situations.
  • The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, 617-522-3003
  • Harvard Law School Tenancy Advocacy Project 617-495-4394, tap@law.harvard.edu, For tenants of and applicants to public and subsidized housing at administrative hearings at housing authorities: ● MetroWest Legal Services, Framingham - 508-620-1830 or 800-696-1501, For people ages 60+ Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00am - 1:00pm; Tuesday, Thursday: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Boston College Legal Services LAB, Newton- 617-552-0248 Open Fall and Spring (Closed Summer). They offer a multitude of programs such as Civil Litigation, Community Enterprise, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Learn more here
  • Jewish Family and Children’s Service Legal Services (Bet Tzedek), Waltham 781-647-5327; Housing, Family Law, Public Benefits, Consumer Law, Domestic Violence, Elder Law, and Probate Law, SNAP (food stamp) issues.
  • Massachusetts Legal Clinic for the Homeless 617-544-3434 ext. 110 sthekkeparayil@lawyersclearinghouse.org
  • Community Legal Services and Counseling Center, Cambridge (617) 661-1010
  • The Commision on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren offers a multitude of resources including legal resources, financial resources and support services. Learn more here , call 617-748-2454 or email collen.pritoni@state.ma.us
  • Boston Rape Crisis Center has a new office in Waltham - 24 Crescent St Suite 202. Legal resources, medical advocacy, counseling and support services are available.
  • MassHire offers help for those having trouble with their unemployment compensation claims. Learn more here or call 508-861-7993 extension 711 to speak with the Operations Manager

Other Sources of Legal Information: 

MassLegalHelp 

MassLegal Services

 

Affordable Housing

MassAccess

The MassAccess Housing Registry helps people to find affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in Massachusetts. A key feature of the Registry is to highlight homes for people with disabilities who need accessible or barrier-free housing.


Metrolist

Use this link to find affordable housing in Boston and the greater Boston area. You can search for current units available and sign up for the Metrolist email list to receive updates when new affordable units are listed.


MassHousing

Use this link to search for affordable housing.

Use this link to search for workforce housing developments - housing that is available for those who earn too much to qualify for traditional affordable housing but cannot afford market rents.


MetroHousing

Use this link to search for affordable housing.


Handicap Accessible Affordable Housing 

  • ApartmentGuide.com - Under "Special Features," select "Disability Access."
  • Apartments.com - After searching for your desired location, click to open the menu under "Amenities"; then under "Community Amenities," select "Disability Access."
  • ForRent.com - Under "Community Amenities," select "Disability Access."
  • MyNewPlace.com - Select "Search by Amenities," and then under "Special Features," select "Disability Access."
  • Rentals.com - After searching for your desired location, select "Handicapped Accessible" under "Property Features" and/or "Handicap Access" under "Community Feature" (if available).

Searching For Housing

Emergency Assistance and Homelessness Resources

Additional Resources

Mortgage Assistance for Homeowners 

Greater Boston Legal Services foreclosure work includes:  representing homeowners who are facing foreclosure and have potential legal defenses; assisting homeowners who have the financial ability to make mortgage payments if their principal or interest payments were reduced through a modification of their loans and have been rejected for a modification; and  providing homeowners facing foreclosure, and homeowners with high cost loans, with advice and brief service, along with referrals to housing counseling agencies, updated information on the various loan modification programs available to them, and updated information concerning their legal rights and remedies, including bankruptcy.

For more information visit here 


Boston Action for Boston Community Development 

Utility assistance for Massachusetts homeowners. For assistance fill out this form 

For help contacting ABCD, visit here 

 


Fannie Mae

If your building is financed by Fannie Mae (renters), then you may qualify for additional benefits such as: assistance with FEMA and insurance claims after a natural disaster, access to HUD-approved housing counselors, federal and state housing assistance information, guidance on unemployment benefits, nutritional assistance and any other available programs, and nonlegal support in communicating with landlords. They have a form you can fill out to determine eligibility on this page.