We’ve officially launched the second round of the local Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Please find attached bilingual flyers, fact sheets, and hardcopy applications. Below you’ll also find an overview of the program.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. We’d appreciate it if you could share this information with residents. For reference, all application materials are available on our website.
Online application (Spanish): https://forms.gle/MUv4GPCSC5xKNUMN9
Online application (English): https://forms.gle/mV8q8s2nJKhLQFZt5
First, we’re grateful for the feedback and guidance we received from residents and colleagues on the first round of the program. Based on this guidance, we’ve revised the application and process.
Residents who applied for Round 1, but were not selected in the lottery, do not have to submit an application for Round 2 unless their household situation has changed.
Applications can be filled out online through the links below. Paper applications can be picked up at City Hall (front desk) during normal business hours, or by calling 311 (617-466-4209) to request an application form, or with any questions.
If a resident is unable to leave their home (i.e. seniors), we’re happy to deliver an application. This can be requested by calling 311.
The application deadline is 4:00 p.m. on 12/11/20. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by 12/11.
To apply, income eligible applicants have to submit a complete application and a copy of their lease. If a lease is unavailable, we’ll accept a letter, specifying the monthly housing cost, from the person they rent from. No W9s are required.
Eligibility + Income Limits
The income limits for Round 2 are set at 50% of the Area Median Income. For a household of 4, this is $63,950. For a household of 2, this is $51,200.
Applicants can self-certify their income on the application. Our staff will follow up in certain instances to verify this information. The program is open to all Chelsea residents, regardless of immigration status – we do not check status. Moreover, the program is open to sublessors.
The maximum award amount is still 3 months of housing expenses, or $5,000, whichever is less, per household. Funds can be used for past due rent and/or utility bills, as well as future rent and/or utility expenses.
In most cases, funding will be distributed directly to the landlord. However, in cases involving subleasing or uncooperative landlords, the Department will disburse funds directly to the tenant. We encourage applicants to let us know if they’re experiencing an uncooperative or hostile landlord. We do not want to put anyones’ housing situation in jeopardy because they sought City funds.
All applications will be reviewed following the deadline. Similar to Round 1 and the Chelsea Eats Program, the program will use a weighted lottery process to select recipients. Each application will be assigned a score, a measure of need. One point will be assigned for each of the categories:
- Extremely low income (30% AMI)
- Household with children under 18
- COVID-19 economic and/or health impact
- Ineligibility for state or federal public assistance (i.e. not eligible for unemployment)
The score will determine the number of times an application is entered into the lottery. For instance, if an applicant has children (1 point) and is of extremely low income (1 point), the application would receive a score of two (2) points. The application would be entered into the lottery two times, increasing the chance it’s selected.
Before the lottery, we’ll mail residents their lottery numbers. Subsequently, we’ll administer the lottery via Facebook Live and Chelsea Community Cable. Right now, we’re aiming to hold the lottery on 12/23.
Outreach + Engagement
The program will be promoted in multiple ways, in conjunction with our community based partners. Digitally, the program will be promoted on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and City website. We’re producing a tutorial, in Spanish and English, on how to navigate the application process for residents, along with informational videos. We’d appreciate it if you could circulate information about this program to residents.
We’ll also be using text messaging to notify residents about the program and update applicants weekly on their application status.
Next week, we plan on tabling at La Collaborativa, Chelsea Legal Services, St. Lukes, and other locations. At the tables, our staff will be available to work with residents on the application. Once the times are finalized, I’ll share them with you and on social media.
If you have any ideas for outreach, or wouldn’t mind us setting up a table at your organization, please let me know!