Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC)

Helping Consumers Make Informed Decisions

hcecpic

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.

EMERGENCY RENT AND MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE DURING COVID

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

RAFT/ERMA MAXIMUM INCOME ELIGIBILITY – MIDDLESEX AND ESSEX COUNTIES

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

REQUIRED INCOME AND EXPENSE DOCUMENTS FOR RAFT

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:

https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityTeamwork1/RAFTERMAAPPLICATIONCTI

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

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

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

TENANT APPLICATION

English    https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityTeamwork1/RAFTERMAApplicationCTI

Spanish    https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityTeamwork1/solicitudraftermacti

OTHER TENANT APPLICATIONS

Chinese   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Application-Chinese.pdf

Haitian Creole   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Application-Haitian-Creole.pdf

Khmer    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Application-Khmer.pdf

Portuguese   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Application-Portuguese.pdf

Russian   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Application-Russian.pdf

Vietnamese  https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Application-Vietnamese.pdf

LANDLORD APPLICATION

English    https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityTeamwork1/LandlordRAFTERMAApplicationCTI

Spanish    https://www.cognitoforms.com/CommunityTeamwork1/SolicitudDeRAFTERMADelPropietarioCTI

OTHER LANDLORD APPLICATIONS

Chinese    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landlord-Application-Chinese.pdf

Haitian Creole    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landlord-Application-Haitian-Creole.pdf

Khmer   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landlord-Application-Khmer.pdf

Portuguese   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landlord-Application-Portuguese.pdf

Russian    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landlord-Application-Russian.pdf

Vietnamese    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Landlord-Application-Vietnamese.pdf

TENANT CONSENT FORM (Go with Landlord Application)

English   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-English.pdf

Spanish    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Spanish.pdf

OTHER TENANT CONSENT FORMS

Chinese    https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Chinese.pdf

Haitian Creole   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Haitian-Creole.pdf

Khmer     https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Khmer.pdf

Portuguese   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Portuguese.pdf

Russian   https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Russian.pdf

Vietnamese     https://www.commteam.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Tenant-Consent-Form-Vietnamese.pdf

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.

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

RIORITIZATION AND DISCLAIMER LANGUAGE FOR RAA WEBSITES 

English:

RAFT/ERMA applications may also be considered for the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP); no additional or separate application is required. ERAP includes benefits that can exceed $10,000 and include slightly different eligibility requirements, along with a preference for households with one or more members that have been unemployed 90 days or more at the time of application or who have income below 50% of the Area Median Income. We will match you with the most appropriate program based on your needs and circumstances, and may ask additional questions beyond those in the application. 

Spanish:

Las solicitudes de RAFT/ERMA también pueden ser consideradas para el Programa Federal de Asistencia de Emergencia para el Alquiler (ERAP); no se requiere una solicitud adicional o separada. El ERAP incluye beneficios que pueden superar los $10,000 e incluyen requisitos de elegibilidad ligeramente diferentes, junto con una preferencia para los hogares con uno o más miembros que han estado desempleados 90 días o más al momento de la solicitud o que tienen ingresos por debajo del 50% de los ingresos medios del área. Lo pondremos en contacto con el programa más adecuado en función de sus necesidades y circunstancias, y es posible que le hagamos preguntas adicionales a las de la solicitud.   

Portuguese:

Os requerimentos do RAFT/ERMA também podem ser considerados para o Programa Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP); nenhum requerimento adicional ou separado é necessário. O ERAP inclui benefícios que podem ultrapassar $10.000 dólares e inclui requisitos de elegibilidade um pouco diferentes, juntamente com uma preferência por famílias com um ou mais membros que estejam desempregados há 90 dias ou mais no momento do requerimento ou que tenham uma renda abaixo de 50% da Renda média da área. Iremos correspondê-lo ao programa mais apropriado com base em suas necessidades e circunstâncias, e podemos fazer perguntas adicionais além daquelas incluídas no requerimento.   

Chinese:

联邦紧急租房补 (ERAP) 也将 RAFT/ERMA 虑在;有意向者无需额外或单独申请ERAP 包括可能超 10,000 美元的福利,其资格要求也略有不同,更优先考虑在申请时失业 90 天或以上或收入低于地区中位数收入 50% 的家庭。我们将根据您的需求和情况为您提供最合适的计划,并可能提出申请表中未包括的其他问题

Khmer:

ពាក្យសុំ RAFT / ERMA ក៏អាចត្រូវបានគេយកមកពិចារណាសម្រាប់កម្មវិធីជំនួយការជួលបន្ទាន់របស់សហព័ន្ធ (Emergency Rental Assistance Program, ERAP) ផងដែរ។ មិនចាំបាច់មានពាក្យសុំបន្ថែម ឬ​ដាច់​ដោយ​ឡែក​ទេ។ ERAP រួមបញ្ចូលអត្ថប្រយោជន៍ដែលអាចមានចំនួនទឹកប្រាក់លើសពី 10,000 ដុល្លារ និងរួមបញ្ចូល​លក្ខខណ្ឌ​​តម្រូវ​សិទ្ធិចូលរួមខុសគ្នាបន្តិចបន្តួចរួ មជាមួយចំណូលចិត្តសម្រាប់គ្រួសារដែលមានសមាជិកម្នាក់ ឬច្រើន​នាក់​ដែល​គ្មានការងារធ្វើ  90 ថ្ងៃ ឬច្រើនជាងនេះ នៅពេលដាក់ពាក្យសុំ ឬអ្នកដែលមានប្រាក់ចំណូលទាបជាង 50% នៃ​ចំណូលមធ្យមប្រចាំតំបន់ ។ យើងនឹងផ្គូផ្គងអ្នកជាមួយកម្មវិធីដែលសមស្របបំផុតដោយផ្អែកលើតម្រូវការ​ និង​កាលៈទេសៈរបស់អ្នក ហើយអាចនឹងសួរសំណួរបន្ថែមក្រៅពីសំណួរដែលមាននៅក្នុងពាក្យសុំ។ 

Vietnamese

Các đơn đăng ký RAFT/ERMA cũng có thể được xem xét cho Chương trình Hỗ trợ Người thuê nhà Khẩn cấp (ERAP) của liên bang mà không cần nộp thêm đơn đăng ký riêng. Chương trình ERAP bao gồm trợ cấp có thể lên đến hơn 10.000 đô la và bao gồm các yêu cầu về điều kiện hơi khác một chút, với ưu tiên dành cho các hộ gia đình có một hoặc nhiều thành viên đã thất nghiệp từ 90 ngày trở lên tính đến thời điểm nộp đơn hoặc có thu nhập dưới 50% Thu nhập Trung bình của Khu vực. Chúng tôi sẽ chọn chương trình phù hợp nhất dựa trên nhu cầu và hoàn cảnh của quý vị, đồng thời có thể hỏi thêm các câu hỏi khác ngoài những câu hỏi trong đơn đăng ký. 

Haitian Creole:

Yo kapab konsidere demann pou RAFT/ERMA pou pwogram federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) tou; yon lòt demann oswa yon demann separe pa nesesè. ERAP genyen ladan li benefis ki kapab depase $10,000 epi li genyen egzijans pou elijibilite ki yon ti jan diferan, ansanm ak yon preferans pou kay ki gen yon moun oswa plis ki sibi chomaj pandan 90 jou oswa plis nan moman demann nan te depoze oswa ki touche revni ki pi ba pase 50% Revni Mwayen pou Zòn nan (Area Median Income). Nou pral konekte w ak pwogram ki pi apwopriye a selon bezwen w ak sikonstans ou yo, epi nou ka poze plis kesyon an plis de sa ki nan demann nan. 

Russian:

Заявления RAFT/ERMA также могут рассматриваться для участия в федеральной программе Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP); для этого не требуется дополнительных или отдельных заявлений. Выплаты по программе ERAP могут превышать 10 000 долл. США и предусматривают несколько иные квалификационные требования, наряду с преимуществом для домохозяйств, в которых, на момент подачи заявления, один или несколько членов находятся без работы в течение 90 или более дней или чей доход составляет 50% или ниже регионального медианного дохода. Мы подберем для Вас наиболее подходящую программу, исходя из Ваших потребностей и обстоятельств. Обращаем внимание, что Вам могут быть заданы дополнительные вопросы, помимо указанных в заявлении.

FEDERAL ERAP APPLICATION GUIDANCE DOCUMENT LETTERHEAD

English

Spanish

Khmer

Chinese

Haitian

Portuguese

Russian

Vietnamese

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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