Housing Assistance Programs

Housing Stabilization through Mediation & Financial Assistance

Everyone deserves a safe, secure place to live. We help eligible households in Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding communities to avoid eviction and stabilize their housing through a supportive combination of mediation and emergency financial assistance.


Just A Start’s mediators can help resolve disputes between tenants, landlords, homeowners, and others by creating a safe, neutral space for communication. Mediation allows parties to understand each other’s perspectives, explore options, and come up with a mutual resolution that helps everyone move forward.

Our mediators help resolve conflicts in courts around the Metro North area, helping all parties to avoid the emotional and financial stress of a legal battle. We’ve helped thousands of individuals manage conflicts before they spiral out of control and reach settlements while creating housing solutions for tenants and landlords, often preventing unnecessary eviction.

Are you wondering if mediation may help your housing situation? Please contact Elizabeth Winston, Housing and Mediation Services Director, at [email protected] or 617-918-7518 for more information. 

Financial Assistance

Just A Start can help tenants at risk of eviction through emergency financial assistance. Depending on your income and your city/town of residence, you may be eligible for assistance to put towards rent, utilities, or other urgent bills.

Are you at risk of eviction and in need of financial assistance? Please contact Elizabeth Winston, Housing and Mediation Services Director, at [email protected] or 617-918-7518 for more information.

Safe and Secure at Home

A journalist and professor, Bill Marcus follows opportunities where they lead him, constantly adapting. After many years spent reporting internationally in Shanghai, his career took him to Boston where he settled in Somerville. Bill came to enjoy Somerville and met many interesting people as roommates, but the instability of the housing market took a toll, as apartment turnover and rising rents forced him to move several times within a few years.

When Bill first connected with Just A Start, he was in a bittersweet situation—he had been accepted off the lottery for an inclusionary unit in Somerville, but faced the stress of another move and the expense of starting over in a new apartment. “I had mixed feelings,” Bill said. “I thought, ‘how am I going to get out of this lease?’”

Just A Start was able to help bridge the gap— thanks to a contract with Somerville’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, we covered Bill’s security deposit and first month’s rent on his new affordable apartment. “I wish I’d known Just A Start existed earlier!” Bill reflected, while settling into the stability that a permanently affordable apartment offers. With fewer worries about rent rising or relocating, Bill could focus on caring for his health, pursuing career opportunities, and meeting new people in Somerville.

“I have always considered myself very lucky to have the help, guidance, and expertise from the staff at Just A Start. The Just A Start crew should be very proud of how nice my home turned out and I am grateful for the tremendous savings this program has passed on to me.”
– Mary P., HIP Client
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