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.


Community Teamwork is pleased to offer new financial assistance programs for our families impacted by the recent Covid-19 pandemic and state of emergency. The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development and the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can provide up to 18 months of rent payments and up to $2,500 in fuel assistance for qualified families and individuals.

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

If you think you might be eligible for RAFT or ERMA or ERAP, complete the online Massachusetts Emergency Housing Payment Assistance Application.



TENANT CONSENT FORM – Accompanies Landlord Application (ALL LANGUAGES)


The Central Portal is where documents will be uploaded after an application has been submitted. The link to the Portal Site is here: https://applyhousinghelp.mass.gov/

If you are unable to access or submit an online application, please contact: CovidResponseCTI@commteam.org


Landlords should be aware that Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws prohibits discrimination by a landlord against any tenant receiving federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including rental assistance or rental supplements, because the individual is such a recipient.

A landlord’s refusal to accept emergency rental assistance, that covers the entire amount owed to the landlord, may, in some circumstances, constitute a violation of Chapter 151B.  Landlords should consult their own legal counsel for advice before declining rental assistance that covers all outstanding rent arrears.

RAFT/ERMA/ERAP Maximum Annual 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


        6       $91,100
        7     $97,350


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


December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

December 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015



Get In Touch

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