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Rental Assistance Grant Application

The Town of Amherst and the Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund announce the availability of Round Two for short-term emergency rental assistance available for Amherst renters experiencing a loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19. Rental assistance is available for up to 3 months. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.


In order to be eligible for assistance, your household must meet one of the following definitions:

  • An individual residing in one dwelling unit; or

  • A group of persons related by marriage, civil union, blood, adoption, guardianship, or other duly authorized custodial relationship residing together in one dwelling unit; or

  • A group of unrelated individuals, not to exceed 4, residing cooperatively in one dwelling unit.

  • A group of individuals, regardless of relation, residing in congregate or similar group housing for the elderly or disabled, in half way houses, or in other group residential uses authorized and operated under state and federal law.

  • For parents with shared custody, the child must be part of the applicant household at least 51% of the time.

  • Currently residing in a rental unit in the town of Amherst, MA

  • Is of any immigration status.

  • Have experienced reduced or no income since April 1st because of Covid-19

  • Household annual gross income (before taxes) for all members of the household may not exceed 80% Area Median Income

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  • Households currently living in state or federal subsidized public housing or participating in a local, state or federal rental assistance program e.g. section 8 or

  • MRVP are eligible for assistance with rent arrears only (not monthly rental assistance). MRVP.

  • Households cannot be currently receiving RAFT or HomeBase assistance.

  • Households cannot be entirely comprised of full-time students (defined as full-time students for 5 months in a calendar year). Some exceptions apply (i.e. single parent who is a full-time college student with school age children).

  • Household must demonstrate need. Households with sufficient income and/or savings to pay their monthly rent will not be eligible. Some savings is allowable.


Assistance will be provided for up to 3 months and can be paid for arrears back to April 1, 2020 and for future rent. The maximum subsidy amount by bedroom size is 50% of the actual monthly rent up to the following maximum:

· $650/month for efficiency or 1-bedroom units

· $800/month for 2-bedroom units

· $1100/month for 3-bedroom+ unit


The following verification should be submitted to Community Action Pioneer Valley with your application. Incomplete applications will not be eligible. Assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • Photocopy of a picture ID for the head of household.

  • A copy of your lease or other document that verifies your address and the amount of your current monthly rent.

  • Current proof of all unearned (non-work) income for all household members. This includes income from Social Security, Supplement Social Security Income (SSI), State Supplemental Social Security (SSP), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), disability insurance, Workers Compensation, EAEDC, TAFDC, unemployment benefits, retirement, pension, child support, alimony, veterans’ retirement or disability, and any other income that is not from wages.

  • Proof of one months working income for all household members age 19 and up. Proof of wages must cover 4 consecutive weeks and be from within the 60 days previous to your application date.

  • If any member(s) of your household age 19 or older, do not currently have income from any source, that member(s) must complete the application form for self-declaration of no income.

  • Copy of current statement(s) for all checking and savings accounts for household members age 19 and up. If any members of your household age 19 and up, do not have any accounts, they must complete the application form for self-declaration of no checking or savings accounts.

  • Documentation of a decrease or loss of household income due to the spread of Covid-19.

  • Community Action release form signed and dated by the head of household.

If you have any questions about the required documentation please call Community Action Pioneer Valley at 413-475-1570.



Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are no longer available.  If you need help with the online pre-application, please call 413-475-1570 for assistance.


After submitting the pre-application, applicants will be contacted by Community Action Pioneer Valley to schedule an appointment to complete the full application and submit the required documentation via a secure link to upload the documents. Applicants can also mail the required documents. Applicants will be asked to participate in a phone appointment with Community Action staff that may take up to an hour.


Approved applicants will notified of the amount of subsidy they will be eligible for. All payments are made directly to landlords.


For additional questions, please call Community Action Pioneer Valley at 413-475-1570

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