The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance ( ERMA ) Program
Are you a MA home owner struggling to make your mortgage payments or a MA landlord or real estate investor with tenants that are unable to pay their rent due to financial hardships during the State of the Emergency put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19?
Well help may be on the way. Today Governor Charlie Baker announced the creation of the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance ( ERMA ) Program. ERMA will provide up to $4,000 in direct rental and mortgage assistance to low-income households experiencing financial hardship during the state of emergency, dating back to April 1, but not currently covered by the COVID-19 Rental Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) fund established in late March. This is great news !
The Governor's Press Office release indicated that ERMA will expand eligibility for rental and mortgage assistance to more low-income households who have been impacted by the crisis by adjusting the income threshold beyond the state’s traditional Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. This includes households within the 50-80% range of Area Median Income (AMI). Like the RAFT program, ERMA will provide up to $4,000 for eligible households to pay rent or mortgage payments in arrears going back to payments due April 1, 2020. Beginning July 1, applicants can reach out to the eleven agencies that administer RAFT on the state’s behalf, this includes the nine Housing Consumer Education Centers, as well as LHAND and the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance.
Funding for the new program includes $10 million from the supplemental CDBG Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), in addition to other federal resources. This new funding will serve twice as many households as the traditional RAFT program by greatly expanding eligibility to families who would otherwise not qualify for RAFT. This new emergency program builds on the Administration’s work to stabilize families during this uncertain time. In March, Governor Baker announced a $5 million expansion of RAFT.
Since the beginning of the State of Emergency, the Administration has supported housing stability for households across the Commonwealth. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has drafted emergency regulations to protect tenants under the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, supported our state-aided public housing and affordable housing operators with guidance, and worked with stakeholders across the state to coordinate resources. Additional resources and information can be found on the department’s COVID-19 Resource Page. For the links to these above resources and agencies click here: ERMA
Are you looking for more information on the Baker-Polito Administration's COVID-19 economic recovery package? Click here for the details: Economic Relief Package
Share this encouraging info with those that may benefit and need this assistance !