Governor Charlie Baker’s Office announced an initiative on Monday, October 12, aimed at avoiding evictions with $171 million in funding.
The goal of this initiative is to keep tenants safely in their homes and to support the ongoing expenses of landlords once the Commonwealth’s pause of evictions and foreclosures expires on Saturday, October 17.
The funding includes:
- $100 million commitment this fiscal year to expand the capacity of the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition [RAFT] program to provide relief to renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19
- $48.7 million to HomeBASE and other rapid rehousing programs for when tenants are evicted and are at risk of homelessness
- $12.3 million to provide tenants and landlords with access to legal representation and related services prior to and during the eviction process, as well as community mediation to help tenants and landlords resolve cases outside of court
- $6.5 million for Housing Consumer Education Centers the “front door” for those facing a housing emergency
- $3.8 million for the Tenancy Preservation Program, to provide case management support and to act as a neutral party to help tenants and landlords come to agreement.
According to Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey, “The Trial Court has modified its procedures to provide for a two tier process that will enable tenants and landlords to access resources and mediate their disputes in order to preserve tenancies.”
The new funding will also expand the capacity of the RAFT program and increase the maximum benefit available through RAFT from $4,000 to $10,000 per household. The goal is to stabilize housing until the end of June if there are school aged children in the household.