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Rental Assistance Grant Application

The Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Funds’ COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Grant Program, administered by Community Action Pioneer Valley, will provide short term emergency rental assistance for households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing up to 3 months of assistance to eligible Amherst renters.


Eligible Households:

  • A household shall mean an individual or two more persons who will regularly in the unit as their principal residence and who are related by blood, marriage, law, or who have otherwise evidenced a stable inter-dependent relationship. 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.

  • Has reduced or no income because of Covid-19

  • Household is not currently living in state or federal subsidized public housing; and is not a participant in a local, state or federal rental assistance program e.g. section 8, MRVP and RAFT (with the exception of Raft utility support).

  • Household is not entirely comprised of full-time students. Some exceptions apply (i.e. single parent who is a full-time college student with school age children).

  • Household has insufficient income and/or assets to cover the rent for a 3 month period.

  • Household annual gross income for all members of the applicant’s household residing in the apartment, may not exceed 80% Area Median Income.


Preference will be given for families with children under the age of 18
















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  • 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+ units



Online and paper applications will be accepted by Community Action Pioneer Valley beginning July 6, 2020 until August 6, 2020. All required application verifications must be received by Community Action Pioneer Valley by 3 pm on August 10, 2020. Late submissions will not be accepted and incomplete or late applications will not be eligible for the lottery. Depending on funding, a second lottery may be held in the future and incomplete or late applicants may be eligible at that time.


Households with completed, approved applications will be entered into a lottery. Applicants will be notified in writing of their eligibility and given a lottery number and the details of the lottery. Preference will be given to households with children under the age of 18. A maximum of 70% of the available funds will be allocated to the pool with households with children under the age of 18. The remaining funds will be allocated to the remainder of the applicants.

You may also request a paper application by calling 413-475-1570.

When your on-line application is received, you will be contacted at the email address provided on your online application and you will be sent a secure link to upload your verification documents.




The following verifications should be submitted to Community Action Pioneer Valley with your application. Incomplete applications will not be eligible for the housing assistance lottery.


  • 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, (Coronavirus).


  • 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.


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