Out of caution for the health and safety of our community, our offices will remain closed until further notice. SMOC staff are working remotely to continue to provide essential services. All 24 hour facilities remain open.
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The Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC)

Discrimination by a landlord is prohibited

Landlords should be aware that Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws prohibits discrimination by a landlord against any tenant receiving federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including rental assistance or rental supplements, because the individual is such a recipient.

A landlord's refusal to accept emergency rental assistance, that covers the entire amount owed to the landlord, may, in some circumstances, constitute a violation of Chapter 151B.  Landlords should consult their own legal counsel for advice before declining rental assistance that covers all outstanding rent arrears.

Application Forms

Tenant/Homeowner RAFT-ERMA Application Forms

Landlord RAFT-ERMA Application Forms

RAFT-ERMA Tenant Consent Forms (For Landlord App)

Federal ERAP - Application Guidance Document Letterhead

Program Description/Services

The Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) provides a variety of services to tenants, landlords, homeowners, future homebuyers, homeless individuals and families along with individuals and families facing eviction, foreclosure, who are not eligible for DTA services. This service is provided through information and referral, individual counseling, homelessness prevention programs, workshops, and seminars.

Service Area

Acton, Ashland, Boxborough, Canton, Carlisle, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, Sharon, Sherborn, Stoughton, Stow, Sudbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, Westwood, Wrentham.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Households of any size or composition at risk of being displaced or forced to leave their home due to an unforeseen housing emergency or a COVID-19 related employment loss.
  • The household income must be below 80% of the area median income (AMI)
  • Restrictions apply on rental assistance for families residing in subsidized housing or who have a rental voucher
  • For most of this funding, citizenship or immigration status is not an issue.

The HCEC works with state and federally funded homelessness prevention grants including:

  • Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency grant (FEMA).

Financial assistance is limited based on funding, eligibility and service area.

Application Process

Important Information prior to submitting online RAFT/ERMA application:

  • If you are moving, you must have an apartment lined up before starting the RAFT process. Do not move until RAFT application has been approved!
  • RAFT/ERMA does NOT reimburse clients after payments have already been made. All approved cases are paid directly to the Landlord or 3rd party vendor.
  • In order to complete this form, you will need full names, social security numbers and date of birth for all household members. Names must match what is on government issued IDs.
  • You will be required to report all household income - please use gross income. This will be verified throughout the application process, please have pay-stubs or award letters ready (dated within 60 days).

If you think you might be eligible for RAFT/ERMA, please submit a RAFT/ERMA application at:

Completion of this online process does not guarantee eligibility, approval or payment.

Steps for enrolling in RAFT:

Phase 1:

Phase 2:

  1. Once RAFT/ERMA application and documents are received, your case will be assessed and processed; you will be contacted in case additional documents are needed.
  2. Once the application and all required documents have been processed, SMOC HCEC will review your file for final determination.

Phase 3:

  1. Once file is approved, approval letters will be emailed/mailed to all parties involved
  2. File will be submitted for final data entry and posted for payment

All payments will be made directly to property owner and/or vendors.

Completion of this online process does not guarantee eligibility, approval or payment. Please check your email to respond to the follow-up questions.

**RAFT does not have an immigration status requirement and households of any immigration status are welcome to apply. However, the following pre-application requires the Social Security Number field to be filled in for all household members. The software will not allow you to submit your pre-application without something filled in in those fields. If someone in your household does not have a SSN, please submit 888-88-8888 as their SSN.*

Landlord RAFT Application

Landlords can complete their RAFT Application at:

Contact Information

Due To Pandemic SMOC Offices Are Currently Closed For Walk-Ins.

HCEC Department Is Currently Working Remotely.
Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm
HCEC Hotline: 508-872-0765
HCEC email: HCEC@smoc.org

Marlborough Human Services, 255 Main St, Suite 113, Marlborough, MA
Office hours have been affected due to pandemic.
Monday-Friday 9am to 1:30pm
Office #: 508-460-3758
HCEC Hotline: 508-872-0765
HCEC email: HCEC@smoc.org


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