Financial Assistance

We recognize that everyone faces difficult financial situations from time to time. Ipswich Utilities works with these programs and organizations to provide assistance to those in need. If you are struggling to keep up with your utility bills, you may be eligible for assistance from one of the programs below. 

If you have questions about any of the programs below, or you aren’t even sure where to start, call Action Inc. at (978) 282-1000.

Action Inc.

Not sure where to start? Action Inc. is the answer. Action Inc. is a Community Action Agency serving the North Shore with a long history of providing support and services to those in need.

Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund

Direct support for families affected by COVID-19 closures helping hourly workers struggling with lost income pay for food, household supplies, prescriptions, rent, utilities and medical bills.

In partnership with the City of Gloucester, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, and working with local municipalities, Action Inc. is launching the Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund to help hourly workers impacted by the crisis.

LiHEAP

LIHEAP helps low-income individuals and families with the cost of heating their homes during the winter season. This is a regular monthly payment made toward recurring heating bills. Applicants should contact Action Inc. at 978-282-1000.

Application Deadline: June 1-30, 2020. LIHEAP Applications are accepted from the general public for Heating and Cooling Assistance.

Salvation Army’s Good Neighbor Energy Fund

One time emergency financial relief. Income based using the same qualifiers as the LiHEAP program.

Newburyport Corps
40 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950-2751
(978) 465-0883

RAFT Program

The RAFT Program (Residential Assistance for families in Transition) is a homelessness prevention program funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

RAFT offers flexible financial assistance designed to meet each family’s particular needs. Eligible uses include:

  • moving cost assistance
  • rent and utility arrears
  • rental stipends
  • utility bills.
  • helps families who must move but do not have enough money to pay a security deposit, utility startup costs, or first/last month’s rent, and furniture (no more than $1000 of the family’s can be paid for furniture).
  • Families cannot get more than $4000 within a 12-month period.

To be eligible for RAFT:

  • A family must be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • The household must be income eligible using the following guideline:
    • Not less than 50 percent of the funding will be available for families with an income at or below 30% of Area Media Income (AMI), and a maximum of 50 percent for families between 30-50% AMI. Roughly $27k In Ipswich
  • Meet the basic criteria of an assessment targeting tool (RAFT Screen) developed by DHCD.
    • Agency staff are allowed flexibility in applying the tool to determine eligibility.
  • The RAFT eligibility process will consider the reasons for which someone is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including:
    • loss of income
    • and increased expenses for those with incomes between 30 and 50 percent of AMI.
  • In addition:
    • A family must show that RAFT assistance will stabilize the current housing situation. This means a household must have enough income after receiving RAFT to be able to stay in their current housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid homelessness.

St. Vincent De Paul Society

Separate from Catholic Charities, this catholic organization assists local families in crisis. Applicants should call (978) 992-6151 to set up an interview with the organization. Assistance is based on the approval of the private organization.

Catholic Charities

Catholic organization assists local families in crisis. Applicants should call (978) 744-5181 to set up an interview with the organization. Assistance is based on the approval of the private organization.