The Department of Housing and Community Development wishes to share some important updates to the Governor’s Eviction Diversion Initiative and ask that you share widely with your colleagues in community development and affordable housing. In the last six weeks, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) ​has made several important changes to the program, including:

1. Creating an application process for landlords, who own up to 20 units in Massachusetts, to apply directly for RAFT/ERMA on behalf of tenants. More information here.
 
2. DHCD has increased the maximum benefit for all RAFT/ERMA eligible households to $10,000.
 
3. DHCD removed all sustainability requirements, including the recent rule that a landlord had to commit to preserving tenancy for 6 months to access more than $4,000 in RAFT.
 
4. NEW free legal services are available to eligible tenants and low-income landlords in owner-occupied 2-3 family homes through the Covid Eviction Legal Help Program (CELHP). More information available here.
 
5. NEW free community mediation services for eligible tenants and landlords who need help in reaching agreements ​that work for both of them. More information available here.

We encourage you to share this information widely. For questions, please contact Ryan Ambrose at ryan.ambrose@mass.gov.

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