On Tuesday, June 30th, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program that will draw from $20 million dollars to assist low-income households experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Part of the funding for ERMA includes $10 million from the supplemental CDBG Coronavirus fund, which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
ERMA will provide eligible households up to $4,000 in assistance for rental and mortgage payments dating back to April 1, 2020. Compared to RAFT, ERMA will provide these funds up within the 50-80% of Area Median Income, which expands the eligibility range and is predicted to service twice as many households.
Beginning July 1, applicants are able to apply through the 11 agencies that administer RAFT on the state’s behalf.
These agencies include:
In addition to these funds, the Administration has also been actively supporting housing stability across the Commonwealth since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and the State of Emergency. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has also drafted emergency regulations that protect tenants from eviction and foreclosure during the pandemic.