Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC)

Helping Consumers Make Informed Decisions


About This Program

Community Teamwork’s Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) is one of nine across the Commonwealth.  It covers a territory that encompasses 41 communities throughout the Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Cape Ann regions.

The mission of the HCEC is to provide information that helps consumers make informed decisions about their housing situation and serves as a resource for tenants, landlords, and homeowners, providing information and referrals for housing related issues.We offer housing search assistance, budget counseling, utility assistance, Fair Housing education and reporting, emergency motel placement for fire victims and those displaced by condemnation in the City of Lowell, rental assistance programs for eligible households, representative payee services and veterans support services to veterans and their family members.

Community Teamwork’s HCEC staff provides expertise in housing search, emergency housing assistance, advocacy, counseling, and education programs. The HCEC offers a variety of programs that address critical housing needs.

Clients come to the HCEC through a variety of means; walk-ins to the Resource Center, phone calls directly from clients seeking services and referrals from other departments within Community Teamwork, Mass Housing, community service providers and legislators.

  • Serving 41 communities in Middlesex and Essex Counties
  • Helping housing consumers make good decisions
  • Offering resources to tenants, landlords and homeowners
  • From homelessness to first time home buyer supports

4/24/2020 – Following is a quick write up from CHAPA on the recently approved eviction moratorium and mortgage forbearance. DHCD will release further guidance in upcoming days: COVID-19 EVICTION & FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM LAW

LTC NEWS – On this edition: City Council returns to City Hall, the end of the eviction moratorium approaches, neighborhood Facebook groups, the future of outdoor dining, and in the Sun Spot an interview with Dr. Joel Boyd and Dan Rourke. Connie Martin and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich participated.


Trouble Making Ends Meet? At risk of losing your home due to COVID-19?

Community Teamwork is pleased to offer new financial assistance programs for our families impacted by the recent Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency. Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development is able to provide assistance up to $10,000  of direct funding to eligible households.

ERMA can help to fund payments with rent or mortgage arrears accrued no earlier than April 1, 2020 or upcoming rent or mortgage payments.

In order to be eligible for ERMA, a household must:

· currently rent or own housing as a primary residence in Massachusetts

· have a gross household income that is between the 50% and 80% Area Median Income (AMI)

· have a housing emergency due to a financial hardship related to or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis


Annual Income Limits apply to the Merrimack Valley and include the following cities/towns: Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Merrimac, Methuen, Newburyport, No. Andover, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, West Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury and Westford

Household Size Annual income limit (80%AMI)
1 $ 54,950
2 $ 62,800
3 $ 70,650
4 $ 78,500
5 $ 84,800
6 $ 91,100
7 $ 97,350
8 $103,650

AMI Limits Worksheet


If you think you might be eligible for RAFT or ERMA, download/complete the online application HERE

Or copy and paste this into your browser:


RAFT and ERMA LANDLORD Application - Download/complete the online application HERE

SPANISH RAFT and ERMA LANDLORD Application - Download/complete the online application HERE

Watch this VIDEO Primer on RAFT and ERMA to find out your eligibility, how to apply and more

We are now live with our ZOOM FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AND SMART TENANT WORKSHOP. It’s runs 5 days a week: We are facilitating the English workshop Monday through Friday at noon and the Spanish workshop is twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday at 11am.

ENGLISH workshop link: https://zoom.us/j/95733574741

SPANISH workshop link:    https://zoom.us/j/95172382635

Listen to Connie Martin, Division Director Energy and Community Resources and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich, Director of Homeless Prevention and Homeownership Program discuss the RAFT and ERMA programs available now to people in need of help with rent, mortgage payments and more –  WCAP Radio 9/29/2020

FAQs (excerpts taken from MBHP website)

For more information about any of these questions, stop by Community Teamwork Resource Center or contact our Housing and Consumer Education Center at (978) 459-0551

Education Center 

Section 8 FAQs

Tenant FAQs

Property Owner FAQs

Property Owners: Home Modification Loan Programs

What are my options if I am homeless?

Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)



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April 2016

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December 2015

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June 2015



Get In Touch

17 Kirk St.
Lowell, MA 01852
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(978) 654-5617
Use Our Contact Form