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The Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC)

Initial Questionnaire – Client Assessment

Quick Application Links

  • Tenant and Homeowners - Apply HERE for Financial Assistance
  • Landlords (on behalf of tenants)- Apply HERE for Financial Assistance

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)
  • Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Rapid Rehousing and Prevention
  • 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 pre-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!
  • 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 pre-application at: https://www.waitlistcheck.com/MA2977-1916

Once your pre-application is received, you will be contacted by our team (via email).

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

Steps for enrolling in RAFT:

Phase 1:

  1. Submit pre-application online
  2. Wait for email from representative at SMOC HCEC
  3. Answer eligibility questions via email – Initial Questionnaire – Client Assessment (Response is required to determine eligibility)
  4. If found pre-eligible, you will receive an email with all required documents you must provide in order for your application to proceed to Phase 2. *If payments are being made to landlord, you will be provided a property owner packet for them to complete and submit*.

All documents must be submitted to us at RAFTdocs@smoc.org, in PDF format.

Phase 2:

  1. Once 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 received and processed, SMOC HCEC will review your file for final determination.

Phase 3:

  1. Once file is approved, approval letters will be emailed to all parties involved
  2. File will be submitted for final data entry and posted for payment
  3. 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


Important Links

To improve the quality of life of low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families by advocating for their needs and rights; providing services; educating the community; building a community of support; participating in coalitions with other advocates and searching for new resources and partnerships.