Rent and Mortgage Assistance to Keep People Safely Housed

Even if you’ve never qualified for public assistance, if you have had an increase in expenses or a decrease of income, you may be eligible for help.

Housing Assistance has been the leading regional administrator for rent and mortgage assistance programs for decades. When the COVID-19 pandemic began we established the Workforce Housing Relief Fund, which serves local, year-round residents who have more income than is allowed by eligibility guidelines of governmental programs, but who still need help staying housed during the crisis and beyond.

If you need assistance to stay housed, call (508) 771-5400 or email: We are happy to talk through your situation and identify which funding programs or services may be available to you.

PLEASE NOTE: We use a standard application form for financial assistance from all the financial assistance programs we administer. We will match you with the most appropriate program based on your needs and circumstances, and may ask additional questions beyond those in the application. You can complete your application online, including uploading all necessary attachments. If you’d rather print the application, you can use the fillable, printable PDF below. If you have difficulty with the application, please contact us at 508-771-5400.

Here are the basic eligibility criteria for some of our most frequently requested programs:

Workforce Housing Relief Fund

Eligible clients can make up to 100% Area Median Income, and must not be eligible for other state, federal or local relief. They must demonstrate a loss of income or increase in expenses that has caused them to fall behind on rent or mortgage payments. Priority is given to clients impacted by COVID or related economic downturn. Numbers below are for Barnstable County. Nantucket and Dukes County AMIs vary.

1 person household up to $80,600

2 person household up to $92,100

3 person household up to $103,600

RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition)

This state funded program provides payments to prevent homelessness. Eligible clients will demonstrate that the payment will stabilize their housing. Payments are made directly to landlord, mortgage company or other vendor.

Effective immediately, the following RAFT policies are in place:

  • Maximum benefit limit of $7,000 per household in a 12-month period
  • For renters applying to RAFT for assistance with rent arrears, a notice to quit or eviction notice/court summons is now required

Private Prevention Funds: Up to $1,000 to help keep a client housed

There is no annual income limitation for this program. However, eligible clients will demonstrate 1) loss of income or increase in expenses that has caused housing instability, 2) that they do not have other resources to make the payment, and 3) that the payment will stabilize their housing. Payments are made directly to landlord, mortgage company or other vendor.

We are grateful to these major donors to the Workforce Housing Relief Fund

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

Shepley Wood Products Logo

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

Bayside Building Company Logo

Cape Cod and Islands Association of REALTORS logo

Eastern Bank logo

Barnstable Brewing logo

Who might qualify for assistance?


Ben is a single parent with a 13-year-old son. Ben works full-time as a bartender making about $55,000 per year. He also received $200/wk in child support, or $10,400 annually. Ben is now receiving $525 a week in unemployment. With his lower income, he is struggling to make his rent and buy the extra groceries with his son home now. Ben doesn’t think his employer is going to be able to reopen at all.


Holly works two jobs, one in housekeeping and the other as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, making $30,000 per year. Her boyfriend works for a fuel delivery company and makes $45,000 per year. Holly’s hours at her housekeeping job have been cut as the hotel is shut down, and the local restaurant has closed until further notice. Holly does not qualify for unemployment due to her immigration status. They have paid some of their rent for April, but are behind by $300, and haven’t saved anything for the $1,400 rent due May 1.


Jessica is a self-employed artist. Since the pandemic she has had a major decrease in business coming into her gallery, had to cancel the classes that she teaches, and has had a decrease in commissioned work. Traditionally, she makes an annual income of about $50,000 per year. She has applied for a small business loan, however has not heard back if it will be approved. Jessica’s mortgage company will not agree to a forbearance plan with her at this time.


Paige has worked in sales for a national company for over 15 years. Due to Covid-19 she was one of many employees permanently laid off. Paige’s husband works full time in sales, however the business he works with is not required to offer health insurance. Paige now has to pay her full health insurance premium for her family of four, tripling their out-of-pocket costs for health insurance. Due to this increased cost, Paige and her husband are torn between health insurance for their family or making their rent payment.