It's April 1, and, for many people across the state, that means rent is due for the first time since the coronavirus crisis hit Massachusetts. Meanwhile, landlords and homeowners are worrying about how to keep up with payments.
Radio Boston spoke with several experts to explore the resources you need and answer your questions. They include:
- Rachel Heller, CEO of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association.
- Chris Norris, executive director of MetroHousing Boston, which helps administer rent assistance programs in the Boston area.
- Lisa Owens, executive director of City Life/Vida Urbana, a Boston housing advocacy group.
- Doug Quattrochi, executive director of MassLandlords.
For renters and homeowners
- MetroHousing Boston is providing eligible households with up to $4,000 of housing relief through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. If you live outside the Boston area, visit masshousinginfo.org to find your local administering agency.
- City Life/Vida Urbana operates an emergency eviction and foreclosure hotline, in English and Spanish, at (617) 934-5006 and (617) 397-3773.
- City Life/Vida Urbana also has a template letter (in both English and Spanish) to send to your landlord or bank if you rent, if you have a mortgage, or if your ability to pay has been affected by the coronavirus.
- The new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place a 120-day eviction moratorium on certain federally-backed properties. You can learn more here.
- Greater Boston Legal Aid provides a help sheet (in both English and Spanish) for tenants facing eviction. Housing court is currently closed except for emergency cases until May 4.
- If you need legal representation in an eviction dispute, Mass Legal Services has a useful tool to help find legal aid in your area.
For homeowners and landlords