A Resource for the Re-entry Population of Greater Worcester

RAFT: Residential Assistance for Families in Transition

12 East Worcester Street

Worcester, MA 01604
(978) 630-6600

RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) is a state-funded homelessness prevention program. RAFT gives short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. RAFT helps families who are behind on rent, mortgage payments, or utility bills. RAFT also helps families who have to move but do not have enough money to pay a security deposit, utility startup costs, or first/last month’s rent. Families can get up to $4000 within a 12-month period.

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development is in charge of the RAFT program. On the local level, RAFT is run by Regional RAFT Administering Agencies (RAAs). The RAAs coordinate their efforts with the regional Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs) that provide screenings and referrals for emergency housing assistance.



Your family must be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Your family (two or more people) must include at least one dependent child under the age of 21; or you can be a pregnant woman who is head of household.

At least one member of your family must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.

Your family income must be at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI).


How Do I Apply:
To apply for RAFT, you should contact the RAFT agency that serves your city or town. You can only be approved in the region where you plan to use your RAFT assistance.

To find your regional agency, call 1-800-224-5124, or see:

When you call, a staff member will do a preliminary screening to see if your family appears to meet the requirements of the RAFT program. If you get preliminary approval, the agency will ask you to fill out a RAFT application.

When you apply, you will need:

  • identification such as a driver’s license, other picture ID, or MassHealth card
  • proof of current income for all adult household members (pay stubs, TAFDC/EAEDC award letters, proof of unemployment or child support payments, Social Security/SSI statement, etc.)
  • a copy of your lease or mortgage statement
  • proof that you need help and the amount of money you need (eviction notice, utility shutoff notice, overdue utility bills, rental startup costs, etc.)
  • a participation agreement from your landlord, if you are a renter who is using RAFT to pay for back rent, first/last month’s rent, a security deposit, or monthly rent stipend

Your RAFT agency will give you all of the forms you need and will let you know which proofs you must provide.


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