City Introduces New Municipal Housing Assistance Program, Supplements State Efforts

City leaders are cheering the announcement on Monday by Mayor Carlo DeMaria to initiate a City-sponsored emergency housing assistance program for rental assistance, mortgage assistance and emergency housing assistance – a program called for by some City Councilors last month when it became apparent the state’s RAFT program was causing residents to fall through the cracks.

Mayor DeMaria announced that starting Monday, the City will be providing rental assistance, mortgage assistance, and emergency housing assistance to Everett residents in need. The following application must be submitted to the City by 5 p.m. on December 22. The application can be found here: Residents looking for additional assistance, other than housing, can fill out the application and specify what their needs are and the City will do whatever we can to meet those needs.

“I am extremely happy to see our own City Fund come into fruition,” said Councilor Stephanie Martins. “I have repeatedly talked about the need for our own fund in Everett given the inefficiency of the state in addressing the issue in a timely manner and making funds really accessible to residents in need of immediate assistance. The guidelines left people behind and the timing was unacceptable.

“In November, Councilor McLaughlin and I made a big ask to allocate $2 million from Free Cash to establish a fund,” she continued. “We have had the opportunity to meet with the Administration and CFO to explore other options to implement the request and address the need.”

Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he was glad to see the administration take action on this program.

“I have supported this since day one because there are many that could fall through the cracks now that the moratorium has been lifted on evictions and foreclosures in the state courts,” he said. “There is nothing more important right now than supporting all of our residents and making sure no one gets left behind or lost in the shuffle. Right now, housing is critical for our community.”

Those unable to fill out the application electronically may come to City Hall during normal business hours to fill out a hard copy of the application. Please bring copies of all supporting documentation when applying.

Documentation must include proof that you are behind on your rent or mortgage, a printed bank statement and/or two paystubs from the last 30 days of unemployment. If you are unable to provide a printed bank statement please upload a signed attestation stating “I, ­­­­­(printed name)am unable to pay my rent/mortgage due to COVID19 and do not have the ability to provide a bank statement.” Please include signature and date. This documentation will be necessary to complete the application process.

For housing assistance, the City of Everett is partnering with ABCD to use a portion of the City’s CARES Act funding to provide financial relief to residents and families that are in immediate danger of losing housing due to financial hardship created by the pandemic. The City will refer approved applicants to ABCD, who will contact those residents and work with them to have checks issued directly to the tenant’s landlord or to the homeowner’s mortgage company. The City anticipates that if applicants provide all the information they need on the application, residents will have a rent or mortgage payment made within a week of the process starting the process. The City will provide up to $5,000 per individual resident or up to $10,000 in assistance for families. Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis until the City has exhausted the $1.3 million in relief funds or December 30, 2020, whichever comes first.

Everett now follows the lead of Chelsea, which began a municipal rental assistance program last summer and is now on their second round of that program. Additionally, the City has allocated $1 million for a Homeowner Stabilization Program that will be distributed to owner-occupants in January.

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