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Rental Relief Fund Community Partner Grant

We are creating a community grant program for nonprofits to support additional outreach and application assistance for Boston’s Rental Relief Fund. This can be through events, technology support, and coordination between tenants and landlords. 

Still have questions? Contact:
Neighborhood Development
12 Channel Street
9th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Other opportunities

Interested in getting access to outreach materials for the Rental Relief Fund? Want to host a training for your organization on housing stability resources in Boston? Sign up online.

Grant program background

This summer, the Office of Housing Stability and the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab (iLab) are creating a community grant program for nonprofits.

We want to support outreach and application help for the Rental Relief Fund through:

  • events
  • technology support, and
  • coordination between tenants and landlords. 

Many tenants lost income due to business, school, and childcare closures due to COVID-19. These factors, combined with restricted access to technology, made paying rent much more difficult. It also highlighted the number of residents who rely on community groups and nonprofits to access the internet for essential information, including:

  • legal services
  • rental assistance, and
  • other eviction prevention resources.

We're partnering with community groups and nonprofits who are able to offer:

  • access to technology
  • address questions about rental and utility assistance programs, and
  • support tenants and landlords in completing application packets.

We want to ensure that access to emergency rental assistance is possible, even under challenging circumstances.

We're working with community groups and nonprofits that have built up trusting relationships with hard-to-reach communities. These include:

  • communities who speak languages other than English
  • immigrant communities, and
  • low- to moderate-income tenants with limited access to technology.

Our goal is to ensure the Rental Relief Fund achieves its goal of equitable distribution. We want to contribute to the City’s ongoing efforts to apply a racial equity lens to existing programs.

The grant program will support efforts to understand which:

  • outreach strategies
  • application supports, and
  • communication approaches meet the needs of tenants and landlords attempting to access rental help

This program will support the ongoing work of Office of Housing Stability staff and other key stakeholders.

Selected community partners will develop and put in place a three-month outreach and engagement plan. We plan to evaluate outreach strategies and engagement methods. Based on what we learn, we may adapt the program.

Grant program overview

This grant program is awarding a total of $150,000 in grants to increase or scale up outreach for summer through fall 2021. Grant awards will vary in size. But, applicants may request up to $20,000. We anticipate funding up to 10 organizations this summer through fall (August 2021 - November 2021).

The following will be prioritized

Applications from entities to expand outreach and engagement for specific populations that face disproportionate risk of eviction, including:

  • communities that speak languages other than English
  • households with children, and
  • Black, African American, Indigenous, and People of Color (BAIPOC) households

Applications from nonprofits in Boston neighborhoods that are disproportionately impacted by housing instability and risk of eviction

Applicant eligibility criteria 
  • Applicants or designated fiscal agents must be a non-profit 501(c)3 tax exempt organization
  • Fiscal agents may only serve as a fiscal agent for one application
  • Applicants may only apply for engagement efforts that will run on an ongoing basis throughout the summer (funding will NOT be available for one-time events) 
  • Application help must be free and open to all tenants in Boston

Recipient Requirements 

If selected, the following will be required: 
  • Applicants and their outreach and engagement plans must be currently in operation or starting no later than August 16, 2021. They must run through November 12, 2021.
  • Award recipients will be required to attend a virtual Rental Relief orientation .
  • Award recipients must be willing to provide weekly reports on outreach activities.
  • Award recipients must submit a financial and programmatic report no later than 30 days after the end of the grant period. The report format will be provided by the Office of Housing Stability.
Funding can be used for the following expenses:
  • Dedicated part-time or full-time staffing for outreach and engagement activities
    • Staffing can include reallocation of time for current staff members
  • Printed outreach materials 
  • Virtual and media campaigns 
  • Technology to engage with tenants and landlords (for example, SMS messages, tablets, and laptops)

How to apply

Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 30, 2021. you can fill out the application in the following languages:

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