Resources

We offer a database of information divided into four main sections for your convenience.
  • Resources

Homeless

Domestic Violence

We work on eliminating domestic violence and sexual assault in the Nantucket community while empowering every woman, man and child to live a life free from violence. Services at A Safe Place are confidential and are available without regard to race, color, immigration status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
This is a domestic violence advocacy group in Boston. They help families through advocacy,prevention & intervention programs. A “toll free hotline 877-785-2020 called “SafeLink” is staffed 24hrs/day. Help is offered in English, Spanish & Portugese with additional connection to an ATT language line for help with additional translation services.
If you are a person being physically abused, a victim of abuse, you are NOT alone, you are not to blame and you cannot control the actions of your abuser. There is more help available for you (and your children) than ever before. Here you can find a contact closest to your location for referral information. This information is sorted by "City/Town".
We offer free and confidential counseling, shelter, legal advocacy, safety planning, teen dating violence prevention education, a 24/7 hotline, and much more.
Futures Without Violence is a health and social justice nonprofit with a simple mission: to heal those among us who are traumatized by violence today – and to create healthy families and communities free of violence tomorrow. From domestic violence and child abuse, to bullying and sexual assault, our groundbreaking programs, policy development, and public action campaigns are designed to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.
Domestic violence, intimate partner violence, or partner abuse is a pattern of behavior one person uses over another to systematically gain and maintain power and control in an intimate relationship. Abuse is not just physical. A person may use emotional, sexual, financial, and/or identity abuse in the relationship to gain control. A 24-hour crisis line is monitored by trained volunteers and staff, providing emotional support, safety planning, crisis counseling, referrals, and emergency housing.
Independence House Hyannis is the only comprehensive community-based resource on Cape Cod, providing free and confidential services for survivors of sexualized and domestic violence. Services are also provided to children of survivors.
MA trial law libraries, this site provides the reader with information and guidelines and effective responses to domestic violence and related topics in MA

Education

Educational support for homeless children in Brockton, Stoughton and Middleboro. School on Wheels of Massachusetts believes a quality education gives children the opportunity to create their own future. They support the academic achievement of homeless children pre-kindergarten through grade twelve with after school tutoring. For contact information go to their website.
Our work with the media, awareness campaigns, and other public education efforts help make victims safer and increases the likelihood of prevention and social change. We coordinate trainings and produce materials that integrate current best practices and address the needs of different cultural communities.
The McKinney-Vento Act's Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and Title I Part A provide students experiencing homelessness with protections and services to ensure they can enroll in and attend school, complete their high school education, and continue on to higher education
One Family Scholars is a comprehensive college scholarship program that breaks the cycle of poverty and family homelessness for low-income single parents. The One Family Scholars program values higher education as the surest pathway to family self-sufficiency.

Emergency assistance

If you and your family are experiencing a housing crisis and you need to find shelter right away read this brochure. The information provided here will help you get information on how you can find help and who to contact in your area.
Massachusetts emergency assistance programs help families and individuals who need help right away. Emergency assistance programs offer emergency shelter, food, and cash assistance. Click on an emergency assistance program for more information.
The Lower Cape Outreach Council provides emergency assistance of food clothing and financial support to individuals and families in Brewster, Chatham, Eastham, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet

General information

A technical guide on homelessness by HUD
HomeBASE is a program for homeless families with children and pregnant women. For a brochure or more detailed information follow this link.
A helpful publication that explains the process of obtaining housing assistance help from shelters to home ownership. It is published by the MA Department of Housing and Economic Development.
This link provides the reader with HUD’s definition of a homeless individual/family for the purpose of establising eligibility to receive assistance. This information is provided by Cornell University Lawschool's legal Information Intsitute.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) are disability benefits programs run by Social Security (SSA). Both programs pay monthly cash benefits to people with disabilities
The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) is the country's oldest statewide homeless advocacy organization. Find out how to get a referral to their furniture bank, KIDZ Project, or Door to Door Program for basic necessities like: critical food resources, winter clothing for homeless children, car seats, strollers and cribs.
Project just because inc. provides clothes, school supplies, blankets, toys, furniture, baby items, housewares, and more to families in need. Special needs items can be handled through a Sponsorship Program. Holidays are usually emotionally difficult times for families and special programs to help out might be found on this website.To learn more about these programs and to find contact information click here.
Consists of a “Food pantry”, Community meals, a Second Glance Thrift shop, summer lunches for kids in the Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich area. Their main focus is on providing food to people and changing the community for the bin their community better.

Health Care

Accessing healthcare can be difficult when you're homeless. In an effort to be accessible, Boston Health Care for the Homeless (BHCHP) provides teams to see patients at 68 sites in the greater Boston area. BHCHP is nationally recognized for its innovative medical respite programs providing short-term care for people who do not require hospitalization, but are far too ill to tolerate the stresses of life in shelter or on the street. BHCHP staff also bring health care directly to the homeless in over 50 homeless shelters, soup kitchens, detox units, and battered women's shelters.
This is a statewide association which represents 52 community health centers through grassroots advocacy. To find a health center in your area check out this page.
Duffy Health Center provides caring, comprehensive health care and support services to those who are homeless and at risk of homelessness on Cape Cod. Duffy’s new "Mobile Health Van" is now on the road.
The Hepatitis Foundation strongly urges people to get tested and immunized to help prevent new viral hepatitis infections. Use this website by the International Hepatitis Foundation for information on how to be tested, how to live safely with Hepatitis as well as protect others around you.
Here the Councel’s website lists homeless health care programs around the State.

Housing options

Looking for affordable housing? Visit Caritas housing options website they are the largest non-profit owner and manager of permanent Veteran and Single Room occupancy housing in the greater Boston area.
HOP has individualized direct service and/or works in collaboration with other service providers (including DMH, DMR, and MRC) to provide: rental subsidies, Housing searches, ongoing case management and stabilization services:
The Housing list by Mass Housing contains detailed information on properties across the state who are financed or overseen by MassHousing.
Applicants can print out this universal standard application for MA state aided Public Housing,the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program & the Alternative Housing Voucher Program, to fill out and submit to the prospective agencies.
The Department of Veterans Services (DVS) contracts with a range of non-profit organizations, which provide housing services to eligible veterans. Housing Services range from Emergency Homeless Shelters, group residences, to Single Room Occupancy (SRO) quarters. Among the DVS providers are the only Veterans' Hospice in the nation, and a program for veterans with Head Injuries. All require that residents maintain a sober and drug-free environment. Services are available to both male and female veterans. There are currently no homeless services available to veterans with families.

Prevention

Home Start's prevention programs staff utilizes a combination of their housing and stabilization knowledge, mediation techniques, and flexible monetary funds to help high-risk households retain their housing and avoid shelters.
The Homeless Prevention Council works to prevent homelessness before it happens in the eight towns of the lower and outer cape (Chatham, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown). We provide professional case management, which includes counseling, advocacy and referral services to appropriate resources.
Housing Families, Eviction Prevention, Housing Stabilization and the "Helping Homes program" help families address their personal challenges to becoming better tenants. The programs’ ultimate goal is keeping families housed. These programs get families one step closer to the goal of ending family homelessness.
The Bridge Fund of Massachusetts provides financial relief and comprehensive services to families referred through social services agencies who are at risk of eviction.

Shelters

This organization provides cost- effective, short-term medical and recuperative services to homeless men and women who do not require hospitalization but are far too sick to tolerate the stress of life in shelters or on the street.
Crossroads not only provides shelter and a food pantry for families, their staff also helps families with information on public assistance, seeking educational and employment opportunities and learning to overcome stress and trauma.
Father Bills and Main spring help homeless people with temporary shelter and food. They also work on finding permanent housing with supportive services in the following towns in MA: Quincy, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Duxbury, Hanson, Hanover, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Milton, Norwood, Norwell, Pembroke, Randolph, Rockland, Scituate, Westwood, and Weymouth. Shelters and supportive services are located in Quincy and Brockton.
This is the only drop-in day program for the Haverhill area’s homeless and indigent individuals Here you can find save haven, food,clothing, medical and general counseling and referral services.
A shelter program for individuals and families in the Boston area, who’s mission is to end homelessness in Greater Boston by providing housing in conjunction with effective support services to help change the conditions that create homelessness.
This agency in Cambridge MA provides emergency shelter, re-housing and housing stabilization services for homeless families or families at risk of homelessness. For more information select this link.
We educate and advocate for the needs of our Homeless Community. Help Homeless Men and Women get off the street by providing food and shelter. We offer training to deal with medical, psychological, spiritual and addiction issues, help connect with available resources. We urge those who are capable to find employment or volunteer their time. We teach goal setting, occupational and life skills which will lead to independent living.
Housing Families works to end family homelessness. They provide safe, temporary shelter and quality affordable housing to homeless and at-risk families. They offer individualized supportive services to enrich children's lives, nurture the potential of each family member, and help families maintain permanent housing.
Shelter Listings is dedicated to serving the homeless and low-income. Our shelter list consists of over 3,000 listings and includes emergency shelters, homeless shelters, day shelters, transitional housing, residential drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs, supportive housing and permanent affordable housing.
Besides basic shelter the New England Center for Homeless Veterans offers: job training, educational tools & help in reaching the goal of permanent housing and independent living for all. This is a substance-free shelter and is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, serving men and women veterans.
Besides temporary housing the Pine street Inn also offers permanent SRO housing throughout the greater Boston area. This is based on the lodging house model, whereby the tenants have private bedrooms but are also able to become part of a community through shared cooking dining and living space. For more information on the services offered to you or what the needs are for donors who want to contribute please visit this website.
Our mission is to educate, empower, strengthen, nurture and assist families & individuals with shelter, food and other services. Visit this site for more in depth information and help.
The Women's Lunch Place is a daytime refuge in Boston's Back Bay for women and children who are poor and/or homeless. Open Monday-Saturday from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and Sundays for brunch they serve breakfast and lunch, and provide other resources including personal care items, clothes, laundry and shower facilities, a nap room, a quiet room, and a children's room.

Supportive Services

Formerly the Committee to End Elder Homelessness, Inc. (CEEH) is a non- profit organization dedicated to the elimination of homelessness among the elderly. Help is a unique blend of prevention, placement, and housing programs.
Horizons for Homeless Children improves the lives of homeless children by providing early care and education in our Community Children’s Centers, creating Playspaces (recreational spaces) in shelters throughout Massachusetts
Solutions at Work helps homeless people make the transition to permanent jobs. Current or formerly homeless people "who've been there" and know what it's like also know what it takes to get back into the permanently housed and regulary employed communtiy.
F.O.R. Families is a home visiting program whose primary goal is to help homeless families transition from homelessness to stable permanent housing. Services are free and participation is voluntary.
If you or someone you know on Martha’s Vineyard needs the assistance of the Food Pantry, the following information should be helpful. Business hours are: (mid-October to mid-April) Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2 pm-4 pm (mid-April to mid-October) Wednesday 3 pm – 6 pm
This supportive transitional housing program helps families in Brockton become more capable family units by nurturing their children and help them become responsible, successful members of our community. The Family Life Center staff helps stabilize those families, which enables them to remain together. The Centers staff also works side by side with mothers maintain family function while supporting them with both emotional and concrete needs. For contact info and to learn more about other services visit the following website

Youth Services

We offer a comprehensive range of services for youth ages 14 to 24 in a positive and safe environment. Whether you are homeless, interested in getting your GED, or just need someone to talk to, the intake counselor will refer you to the services that will help you the most.
Harvard Square Homeless Shelter serves the homeless community of Cambridge and Boston. The student staff and the University Lutheran Church work together to provide guests with shelter, food, security, and a supportive environment of mutual respect. HSHS is a dry shelter that provides a drug-free, alcohol-free, and smoke-free environment. Referrals to wet shelters will be made if necessary.
Rediscovery offers a continuum of services to unaccompanied, homeless high school students and youth who are aging out of foster care, in order to ensure their successful transition to adulthood.
DIAL/SELF TeenLine’s Safe Place program is part of a nationwide effort to keep young people safe. The Safe Place program connects youth to immediate help and safety and can offer supportive services to both young people and their families.
We provide a safe and protective environment for homeless and at-risk youth, thereby fostering the needed support network of basic human needs and development through educational programs, one-on-one counseling, and an ongoing atmosphere of hope and concern
We do whatever it takes to strengthen vulnerable families and keep children safe in their own communities, even when they don’t have family support. Serving children and youth from birth to 22.

Homeowner

Consumer Tips

The City of Boston is here to help you find out where you can turn for fuel assistance. Please see this list of Frequently Asked Questions for information about discounted utility rates, city and state programs, home improvement services, and other forms of assistance.
In accordance with the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code residential dwellings must be provided with heat from September 15th until June 15th each year. Heating systems must be capable of providing heat that meets a minimum temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and 64 degrees Fahrenheit from 11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m.
In Massachusetts, home heating oil spills and leaks have become an all too common problem. The culprit in most cases is the delivery or supply line that carries home heating oil (#2 fuel oil) or kerosene (#1 fuel oil) from the storage tank to the furnace.
Questions and Answers on the new Homestead law for Massachusetts
You now have a choice when it comes to who supplies your electricity. The local utility companies continue to deliver power and send you your monthly electric bill even after you choose a competitive supplier. Find competitive rates by following this link.
If you need legal advice of any kind visit this website by the "National Consumer Law Center". This link provides the reader with information on many topics, from bankruptcy to student loans and much more.
Information on pricing, savings and other natural gas service tips can be found here.
In case you are thinking about signing a contract with your oil dealer in order to get the best deal for your family. You should consult this page first, the information provided here gives you guidance on how to proceed with a possible contract between you and your oil heat supplier. This flyer also suggests other possible options for you including contacts to your local oil cooperatives.
If you are a propane customer this document will help you understand what propane is, where it comes from, what affects the pricing in the market and how you can save and reduce your heating budget.
Consumers often turn to alternative heating systems like wood pellet stoves (a.k.a. wood burning stove or wood pellet furnace) during the winter to heat their homes. If you’re considering switching to a wood pellet stove, space heater, or fireplace this winter, consider the following safety information.

Energy Savings

Apply for a 0% loan to help you make qualified energy efficient home improvements with the Mass Save HEAT Loan Program. You could qualify for a loan up to $25,000 with terms up to 7 years, depending on your program administrator and the loan provider.
Este sitio Web incluye consejos sobre el uso de los más recientes avances en productos y la aplicación de ideas prácticas para el ahorro de energía. Aquí ofrecemos consejos para que gaste menos electricidad en su hogar, e incluso en la oficina en su casa, y cuando usa sus equipos electrónicos. Los consejos sobre cómo ahorrar combustible en la carretera harán que quede más dinero en su bolsillo. También le decimos como puede usar en su casa la energía de recursos renovables como el sol.
LED lighting differs from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting. To learn more visit this site.
Co-op Power is a regional network of local communities creating a movement for a sustainable and just energy future. Here are the Joint Purchasing Programs for Co-op Power supporters and members. We buy together to make clean energy more affordable and reliable!
2016-2017 brochure on low-income energy programs offered in Massachusetts.
If you are ready to start saving money and energy in your home,you might want to begin with an energy assessment. To learn details on how to schedule an "assessment" follow this link.
Government programs may help families and individuals pay for fuel, weatherization, and heating system repairs. Find out more details about such programs at this link.
If you are interested in learning about and purchasing energy saving light bulbs, fixtures and more you can follow this link.
In an effort to help affordable housing owners reduce costs and make their properties more energy efficient, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) is offering a new loan program to help its borrowers make energy improvements to their homes.
A booklet of practical tips on saving energy and money in and around your home. This booklet was Produced for the U.S. Department of Energy.
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency & U. S. Department of Energy program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. Learn more about ENERGY STAR by following this link.
Consumer tips on annual savings, high efficiency furnaces and boilers, correct sizing of heating system and rebates.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps people in need pay for their winter heating fuel and other energy bills. The Fund is for people who are facing a short-term financial crisis and do not qualify for other fuel assistance programs. This program is a joint effort between the gas and electric utility companies and The Salvation Army.
We all have a responsibility to keep an environmentally sensitive home. But how can you do it affordable? What are easy steps your family can take at home to help the environment? How do you find the right information that makes sense for your lifestyle?
The Department of Energy created this site for Homeowners, Landlords & prospective Buyers. It provides technical and practical information on Insulation (Products) and how a good thermal barrier, meaning a properly insulated home, can save you money on heating your home during the winter and cooling it in the summer.
Energy Star home created this interactive site for consumers who are looking to save energy and money in their homes.
This Heating Oil alliance helps families save on heating and electricity costs. They serve eastern and central massachusett by offering good and fair oil prices, flexible pricing plans and budgeting options. They support low income families and community organizations thorough their Oil bank and clean electricity programs.
Information on your energy providers how to find $ assistance plus direct links to your Utility Company (energy provider) can be found on this site. By the MA department of telecommunications and energy.
This program is to help Massachusetts affordable housing owners complete energy-efficiency retrofits on their existing MULTI-Family buildings.
This link provides you with information on rebates across the state.Follow this link and find info by your specific zip code.
MassCEC's Clean Heating and Cooling programs offer rebates to support the installation of renewable heating, hot water, and cooling technologies at homes across the Commonwealth. These technologies offer a high level of comfort, are generally more cost-effective to operate than traditional systems. MassCEC has announced a $30 million commitment to these technologies through 2020.
Massachusetts has helped thousands of Americans dramatically lower their power bills by switching to affordable solar electric. We match you with the most qualified solar companies in your area. A specialist will explain all of the money-saving programs, from government rebates to the variety of solar financing options available to offset some of the initial solar panel installation costs
Providing energy assistance to more than 30,000 households in 242 Native American tribal communities.
This page helps tribal members find the necessary contact information for LIHEAP. Find MA on the map provided and click for details in your area. The LIHEAP program assists low-income households with their home energy costs.
The Weatherization Assistance Program, helps low-income households reduce their heating bills by providing home energy efficiency services.
Insulating shades for your home with high R-value 5.51, which cuts window heat loss up to 80% and heat gain in the summer up to 86%, they also offer noise reduction, light filtering and room darkening. A dbl glazed window with added quilt saves up to 67% energy compared to the same window without quilt at only 52% savings.
Are you looking into supplementing your current heating system by burning wood, wood pellets or other alternative fuels? Consulting this site by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, will help you understand on how to prepare your home for such an installation.

Environment

You can make a positive impact at the personal, local and global levels by taking small steps to go green in your own life. look over CET’s list of 8 Ways to a Greener Lifestyle and find something to do right now that makes a difference. Once you have taken one action, it’s much easier to take another
The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension in Barnstable County educates the public on issues from water quality, to hazardous waste disposal and recycling.
Garden and Landscaping water conservation tips form the MA water resource authority
This site by the EPA offers you in depth information on ground water & drinking water. It will guide you on how to test and adequately treat your private well water as well as how to assess and prevent water quality contamination around your home.
This Guide provides you with the information you need to know to clean up an oil spill properly. Tips to save time and money are also included.
Homeowners who are concerned about Radon in their home can check this site for info on radon levels in their county.
The American Ground Water Trust is a non-profit 501(c)(3) education organization dedicated to providing accurate information about water resources and wells to homeowners, teachers, water users, managers, planners, and community and state leader.

Financing Information

Some lenders engage in practices that are known as ‘predatory lending’. This means that they are fraudulent, deceptive and/or unfair in their behavior. There is no real legal definition of the practice, but there are laws to protect consumers from it. This site helps you understand and look at the 8 most common signs of predatory lending.
The American Association of Retired Persons has on-line information concerning reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages allow you to borrow money against your home equity and make no monthly payment.
This page allows you to look up the FHA or GSE mortgage limits for one or more areas of the Country, and lists them by state, county, or Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Discrimination in mortgage lending is prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity actively enforces those provisions of the law. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to engage in the practices descirbed at this link.
This Program was designed to help struggling Home Owners, who due to loss of income/job or delinquency or are close to becoming delinquent on their loans, lower their monthly payments by restructuring their loans so they can again make payments and thus avoid foreclosure. Follow this link to the "news and announcement" page.
The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) reverse mortgage program which enables you to withdraw some of the equity in your home. You choose how you want to withdraw your funds, whether in a fixed monthly amount or a line of credit or a combination of both. You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing
If you see any home loan advertisement that seems a too good to be true, it probably is. The information here alerts you to possible loan modification scams.
MAHA (Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance) offers workshops that will help you plan to always have money to pay your mortgage on time and have sufficient savings for necessary repairs, even when times are not at their best. This link will give you information on these classes and where to sign up.
MassHousing is the State's affordable housing bank. We lend money at rates below the conventional market to support rental and home ownership opportunities for low-and moderate-income residents of the Commonwealth. We work with an extensive network of approved lenders to deliver our home mortgage programs to first-time home buyers.
Information on Private Mortgage insurance by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
What everyone should know about Home Equity lines of credit and more information. This information is provided to you by the Federal Reserve Board:

Foreclosure Prevention

This links you to the latest legislation filed by the A.G. regarding reasonalbe efforts by Banks to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The details on this new law can be read under Chapter 244 of the Massachusetts General laws.
This HUD website offers you guidance on default and foreclosure prevention with links to your local MA services.
This page by CHAPA provides the community with updates and news on MA State funding changes.
This site by Neighborhood works is for families who are behind on their mortgage. Being more knowledgeable could avoid foreclosure. It is crucial to act quickly and reach out to your lender or a reputable nonprofit. Here are some tips on how to proceed.
A number of federal & state agencies as well as nonprofit organizations have developed foreclosure prevention programs to help homeowners who are having trouble with their home loans. The organizations listed here offer free or low-cost foreclosure prevention programs to eligible homeowners:
If foreclosure seems imminent and you are having trouble affording your pet you can find financial help by following this link to the humane societies website.
If you are currently having trouble paying your mortgage or expect problems in the future, it's crucial that you get help now. If you fall behind and don't take action, your lender will take steps to foreclose on your home
This program assists eligible homeowners who face financial loss when selling their primary residence homes in areas where real estate values have declined because of a "Military Base" closure or realignment announcement. Find more detailed information here.
This site by Freddie Max has important reminders on your obligations as a home owner in regards to your mortgage payments and other financial responsibilities.
The MA Attorney General’s HomeCorps wants to mitigate future impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts who are facing foreclosure. The HomeCorps includes a comprehensive three-part borrower support and referral initiative.
If you feel you may be in danger of facing foreclosure call 888-995-HOPE now. Online counseling is available as well, check out this site for more information.
On this HUD website you will find a current list of all MA Housing counseling agencies. It is very important that you contact an agency near you if you have any trouble paying your mortgage or if you have a temporary financial emergency!
Boston Community Capital offers this foreclosure relief program. Across Massachusetts, BCC is partnering with community advocates, legal aid organizations and low-income residents to keep foreclosed homeowners and tenants in their homes.
Buying a home may be the biggest investment you’ll ever make. If you lose your job, how will you pay the mortgage? Also Mortgage insurance (MI) is often required for home buyers making down payments of less than 20% of their home’s purchase price.
Propietarios de vivienda de Massachusetts: ¡obtengan ayuda para salvar su vivienda!
Top 10 tips on avoiding foreclosure by HUD, These guidelines will assist homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage and could be threatened with foreclosure.
If you are concerned about losing your home, email a foreclosure counselor regarding your situation at: homeownership@wayfindersma.org. You may also call 413-233-1622 at any time to make an appointment. Or, visit the Way Finders office at 322 Main Street, Springfield, MA on Tuesdays between 10:00am - 12:00pm.

Forms and Letters

Electronic HUD-1 settlement statement
If you have any consumer complaints this links you to the AG's e-form for direct complaint action.
The following is a sample qualified written request from you, the borrower, to a lender. Use this format to address complaints under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
This page is part of Owning a Home, the CFPB’s set of tools and resources for homebuyers. We are the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly. Learn all you need to know about the closing process here.

General Information

Need to check out a business, a contractor or learn about a business practice that seems to be questionable. This site will help you do just that.
If you are a developer or just an interested citizen, this fact sheet gives you detailed information on the chapter 40B (affordable housing) process and the zoning laws and possible subsidies involved.
Information on buying or building a home, resources for home owners & renters, help for businesses, home improvements plus special help for senior homeowners.
The federal trade commission created this guide for the consumer to understand debt collection and consumers rights, when a debt collector is making false statements and what can be done about it, this links you to all that information.
At Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), our team of 72 attorneys and 25 paralegals provide free civil (non-criminal) legal assistance to low income individuals and families in and around Boston. We’re here to help you access important services and benefits that protect you and your loved ones.
Everyone should check their credit annually. It is best to always be informed about your credit status, in order to avoid financial trouble and possible credit fraud. To get your annual free credit report follow this link.
Going to this section of the IRS website helps you find items of current interest — new programs, recent guidance, or timely reminders. Or jump to the latest news about IRS forms.
This site helps MA residents find information, program assistance and connections to other agencies throughout the Commonwealth.
On March 16, 2011, a new Massachusetts Homestead law went into effect. It completely revised and modernized Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 188, sections 1-10. Here are some of the important highlights:
This list of links to Cities and Towns across the Commonwealth is provided by the Massachusetts Municipal Association's website.
Private homeowners donate unwanted but structurally sound dwellings, which are then relocated, rehabilitated and rented at an affordable rent through the Nantucket Housing offices, to find out more about this program check this site.
The NHNC Program allows a property owner having more than one residential dwelling on a lot to sell one of these dwellings (at an affordable price), as long as the dwelling has the Nantucket Housing Needs Covenant. This Covenant, among other things, subjects the home to a sales price formula and a residency/occupancy requirement.
This page describes the relocation process under Massachusetts General Laws, to eligible homeowner occupants who are displaced from their homes(collectively Displaced) as a result of a real estate acquisition by a state, local or private entity using public funds for a project. new link October 2011.

Health and Safety

The EPA provides this guide to Home Owners on help with mold and mildew in and around the home. This site is also very helpful for flood victim's and owners who live in humid climates.
This “Energy Star” guide provides you with information on how Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs work and how to safely install and dispose of them.
This document by the EPA will help you understand asbestos: what it is, its health effects, where it could be in your home, and what to do about it if you do find asbestos in your home.
Every MA dwelling, occupied and used for residential purposes which contains fossil fuel burning equipment shall be equipped by the owner with a working and approved carbon monoxide alarm. To read the full description and details of this very important law follow this link to the MA General laws site.
The US Consumer Porduct Safety Commission offers this flyer from their website for information on Carbon Monoxide safety. Very Important link for everyone to read.
Safety tips by the states fire Marshal for homeowners heating with wood,coal stoves. Updated website December 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the Federal Government has developed a guide regarding pest control and pesticide safety in your home.
The City of Boston Fire Department put this flyer together for the safety of it's citizens.
The spanish language guide to radon in your home by the US Environvental Protection Agency: This guide provides you with information to protect yourself and your family from radon in your home.
This link gives you access to the new & improved citizen's guide to "Radon" in your home by the EPA.
The following website provides the interested home owner with information on available programs and the qualifications that are required for eligibility.
This page of the MA Department of Environmental Protection, provides the reader with detailed information on how and where to collect varied hazardous waste across the state.
This list helps Home Owners maintain a home that is healthy for all occupants and up to date with necessary repairs.
GoodCall's mission is to give you knowledge, tips & tools when it comes to making decisions about the safety of your home. Here is a Visual guide to helping senior citizens and disabled individuals stay safe at home.
The National Environmental service center offers consumers this practical guide on how to maintain your septic system.
This link offers you useful information on how a septic system works and how to take care and properly maintain your system. Following these instructions will extend your systems lifetime.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to chimney and venting system safety. Regular sweeping of your chimney prevents residential chimmney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other hazards. This site will educate you and help you look for the right chimney sweeper in your area of the Commonweatlh.
Safety tips for dryer usage. Updated State document December 2014.
This practical leaflet gives you information on how to remove and keep Mildew away from your living area. It was prepared by M. B. Lopes, Educator for the Cape Cod Cooperative extension program and it is adapted from the USDA Home and Garden Bulletin # 68
This site provides information about lead, lead hazards, and provides some simple steps to protect your family.
Your chimney needs regular maintenance to keep working properly and safely. The National Fire Protection Assoc. Code 211 states; Chimneys, fireplaces and vents shall be inspected at least once a year.To find a local professional visit this site for info and advice.
The highest source of mercury in our air comes from fossil fuels such as coal. The use of just one incandescent light bulb produces about 2.5 times more mercury than using a new CFL lightbulb including the mercury inside the CFL which only ever exposes a human to mercury if broken and exposed to the air. For more detailed information on mercury and CFL's please read this fact sheet.
This flyer by DOER of the Commonwealth of MA was prepared for the Homeowner who heats with oil. It contains practical information on your systems maintenance as well as other tips to keep your oil heatingy system running efficiently.
Nearly all MA cities and towns offer residents the opportunity to recycle. To learn more about recycling and hazardous household product management opportunities and programs near your home follow this link:
Homeowners who need help with home modification for "health and safety" reasons can find zero to low interest loans by following this link.
Too often, we don't pay attention to home hazards until they happen. The best way to avoid a disaster is to be aware of potential at-home risks, like a gas leak or power line safety, and take the necessary safety measures around your home. Safety starts with education, and you can ensure that you home is ready in case something unfortunate happens. We value home and family, and nothing is more important than their protection.
The office of the state fire marshal prepared this flyer to teach families about fire safety practices in their homes
If you are using or planning on using a space heater to complement your heat this winter,this information will give you important advice to keep your family safe.
Using space heaters during the cold winter months might be necessary to keep your family warm. This guide by the Consumer Product Safety Commission has valuable information on space heaters and the safe use and handling of them.

Home Maintenance

Barnstable Home Owners can now comply with Title V regulations. Loans, repayable over 20 years, cover all costs associated with the septic system upgrade. For more details follow this link.
In Massachusetts, home heating oil spills and leaks have become an all too common problem. The culprit in most cases is the delivery or supply line that carries home heating oil (#2 fuel oil) or kerosene (#1 fuel oil) from the storage tank to the furnace. Learn how to protect your property from an oil leak by following this link.
If you want to take care of your home, the largest investment of your lifetime! You will need to keep money aside for regular upkeep and service. This checklist can help you stay on top of your home maintenance issues.
The MA Department of Public Safety offers the consumer this practical and helpful guide. It would be best to consult this guide before you order any service to your oil burner.
Information every home owner with a septic system should have can be found here provided by the EPA.
Heating systems are usually trouble-free and easy to maintain. Efficiency is a function of good and regular maintenance. There are things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition. This article on the website of "HOW STUFF WORKS" offers guidance on servicing your furnace.
This link is a must read for Homeowners who heat with Oil. As of July 1, 2010 a new heating system upgrade and insurance law came into effect in Massachusetts. Visit this website to familiarize yourself with the new requirements for Oil line safety and new insurance requirements to cover clean up of possible leaks.
The Commonwealth has developed three programs to assist on-site septic system owners with wastewater management problems.
Ma consumer affairs has practical advice for all homeowners by suggesting ways to lower costs on home maintenance & home improvements. Here you will also find information on consumers rights and much more.
The MA Dept.of Energy Resources offers the homeowner practical tips on how to maintain and keep a home heating system efficient and in good repair.
Helpful tips for the home owner on caring for your home’s plumbing system, following these instructions will help you avoid unnecessary and costly repairs.
A Massachusetts Home Owner with a septic system or cesspool who plans to put a home up for sale, add a bedroom or convert it to a different use, will need to have that system inspected - and possibly fixed or replaced. The information here is intended to help make decisions about who to hire and how to go about possible financing.
Septic Pumping Reimbursement: This program, administered through the Health Department, provides low income families with monetary reimbursement for the cost of septic pumping. Residents must qualify, based on their total household income as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Program. Please contact the Health Department for further information.
If you are interested in installing a composting toilet in your home, check with the local approving authority (typically the Board of Health) they must approve such a toilet through a Disposal System Construction Permit and Certificate of Compliance. Check with your local Board of Health for its approval procedures.

Home Repair and Improvement

Apply for a 0% loan to help you make qualified energy efficient home improvements with the Mass Save HEAT Loan Program. You could qualify for a loan up to $25,000 with terms up to 7 years, depending on your program administrator and the loan provider.
The "HRI" program provides technical and financial assistance to Cambridge residents who have limited means but wish to make improvements to their home. This program serves low to moderate income homeowners of one- to four-family houses in Cambridge.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the Boston Home Center would help income-eligible seniors replace failing or inefficient heating systems with the "Senior Save" program. Call the Boston Home Center at 635-HOME, or email us at HomeCenter.DND@cityofboston.gov.
A resource for Boston area Homeowners who are looking to do home repair work.Besides affordable building materials, this non profit offers workshops and other support services to equip customers with knowledge and skills for a successful experience as home owners.
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This program is funded by the City's Community Development Block Grant program. It provides financial assistance to eligible applicants with physical disabilities in assisting them with the removal and/or alteration of architectural barriers to make their home handicap accessible.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) better known as Fuel Assistance is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), This program assists low- income individuals and families with the cost of heating their homes during the winter season.
A Regional Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program for the eight towns of the Lower Cape. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development through the Town of Eastham provides Community Development Block grant funding for this program.
EcoBuilding Bargain's mission is to reuse valuable materials, make remodeling more affordable and at the same time create local jobs and provide job training. They are a community based environmental non profit organization.
If you are in the process of ordering new windows you might want to check this publication to read up on what to look for when ordering them
Wood floor finishing products can be fire hazards. This is a fire safety alert for contractors or homeowners who work with highly flammable laquer:
The MA Dept.of Environmental Protection has information on grants and other financial assistance for homeowners who need to have their septic system replaced or repaired.
The Housing Rehabilitation Program provides eligible homeowners with deferred payment loans in order to address code violations and improve living conditions for low-and moderate-income households. A wide range of repairs are eligible including lead paint abatement, septic system repair, roof replacement and more.
Building a deck? Installing an alarm system? Repaving the driveway? You can save time, money, and frustration by knowing the signs of a home improvement scams. Consult this site by the Federal Trade Commission for help in protecting your investment.
Fixing up your home? Need help with financing? Check out this site for general information on HUD’s Title I loan program plus contact numbers where you will receive a list of FHA-approved lenders in your area.
This site offers a search feature, which enables the public to search the current status of an individual's license or registration. The information provided to you is of a public nature and is limited to those licenses/registrations which are currently active.
JUST-A-START established in 1971, is a non-profit community development corporation, which operates primarily in Cambridge. Cambridge residents who need a zero to low interest loan for home improvements, need to refinance a home, or need to remove lead from a home should visit this website for more information.
Through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, this program provides loans for modifications to the residences of elders, adults with disabilities, and families who have children with disabilities. The program is designed to assist with modifications that will allow people to live more independently.
If you need home modification due to a disability, this brochure will give you all the necessary eligibility and contact information you need to get started.
This guide by the MA state government offers the consumer legal and practical information. Before you start your home improvement project read and follow this helpful advice. Understanding your rights and the whole process can safe you money.
If you live in a home built before 1978 and you are planning on renovations you can use this link to find a lead certified firm in your area. As of April 2010 all contractors are required to use lead safe practices when doing renovations or improvements on a home containing lead paint.
The state-funded Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) provides low- and no- interest loans to make modifications to the homes of elders, adults with disabilities, and families with children with disabilities. These modifications allow people to remain in their homes and live independently in their communities.
NHRF programs provide funds to income-eligible households for housing rehabilitation, de-leading, asbestos, underground oil tank removal, energy conservation and adaptive changes for the elderly and people with physical disabilities. Funds are available for rental-property owners and nonprofit organizations that serve low- and moderate-income individuals. Funds are available in the form of grants, deferred payment loans and low-interest loans.
NOAH is committed to helping low- and moderate-income senior and disabled homeowners remain comfortably in their homes by providing affordable home repair services, including minor repairs, emergency repairs, and senior home rehabilitation. To qualify seniors must be over 62 years of age, live in Charlestown, East Boston, or the North End or West End of Boston, occupy or own a 1-4 family property, and have incomes below certain limits.
Anything you need to know about home home plumbing can be found here: from licensing to fittings to frozen pipes. This is a handy reference for the do- it-yourself home owner.
Funds are provided to make access and egress improvements, enable individuals to remain independent and make structural improvements affecting the safety of individuals and caregivers.
Rebuilding Together Boston is an affiliate of Rebuilding Together with Christmas in April. They organize volunteers and corporate sponsors to provide free home repairs to homeowners who can't maintain their homes on their own due to physical or economic limitations. Check out our link to their affiliate in Worcester. They also have affiliates in Haverhill (rthaverhill@aol.org), Lowell (richpeter@aol.com), Newburyport (cianbpt@aol.com), and Springfield (413-750-0958)
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
If your septic is failing or not working properly, Mass Housing has low or no interest septic repair Loans who might help. Here you can find out how and where to apply for these loans.
This is a non-profit, community development corporation who helps homeowners with housing rehabilitation needs in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.
If you are about to hire an insulation contractor this fact sheet will help you understand the process involved, it also has some tips on insulation that can be done by the home owner himself providing he follows safety instructions. The more you understand a job the better you will be able to know if your contractor does his job right.
The Town of Hull is making loans available to eligible homeowners in need of a critical or emergency repair to a failed system in their home. The repair to the system must be critical to the health and safety of the occupants.The maximum loan amount will be $5,000.00, more detailed information can be found here.
Rural Housing Home Repair Loans and grants "Fact sheet". These loans are available to very low-income rural residents who own and occupy a dwelling in need of repairs. Funds are available for repairs to improve or modernize a home, or to remove health and safety hazards. Special grants are also available for homeowners who are over 62 years old.
Find advice and get help here. This HUD link will help you find resources on weatherizing your home and in the process save money on future utility bills.

Insurance

An insurance policy is a legal contract of the promise an insurance company gives you for a specified period of time (usually one year). This guide provides you with information you need when deciding on proper insurance coverage for your home.
Homeowners insurance provides coverage in the event of damage to your property and liability for injuries and damage you may cause to other people. The homeowners insurance section of the I.I.I. Web site can help you make the right decision on choosing protection for you and your family.
This FEMA website that provides consumers with extensive information about flood preparedness and flood insurance.
The MSPCA receives many phone calls from people who are denied homeowner’s insurance solely because they own a particular breed of dog
It is important to understand that an insurance policy is a legal contract of the promise that an insurance company gives you for a specified period of time (usually one-year) to pay for losses outlined in your policy.This guide provides you with information about such a contract.
This site helps consumers find insurance agents in all areas of Massachusetts.
he Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) also known as the Massachusetts FAIR Plan (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) website has information on property insurance for eligible property & for applicants who have been unable to gain insurance through the voluntary market.
If you live in a home/area that is considered "high-risk" or plan to move to a high-risk location, you may have difficulty obtaining an insurance policy. This is especially for coastal residents, Cape Cod & the Islands.

Legal information

Deciding on elder care can be an uncertain time for many folks. Elders and their family caregivers often face a mix of legal and financial difficulties on a daily basis. Be sure to make informed decisions by understanding the decisional capacity of your family member and your legal authority as a caregiver.

Manufactured Housing

Mobile home park tenants in Massachusetts have a number of very important rights before moving into a mobile home park. Follow this link to learn all you need to know.
You could be paying more on your energy bills than you need to. By implementing a few simple energy-saving measures, you can be on your way to saving energy and money in no time!
If you are a tenant in a mobile home park, you have important legal rights under Massachusetts law. In some cases, your rights, as well as your responsibilities, are very different from those of other tenants. The reason for this is very practical: while other tenants rent their homes, mobile home park tenants own their homes and rent the land under the homes.
The Attorney General of Massachusetts offers this guide to the owners of manufactured homes. It provides guidance and information on legal rights and responsibilities, focusing on the Manufactured housing act. Understanding the law will help community owners and residents avoid disputes and resolve the ones that might occur.

Natural Disaster Help

This web page by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) contains information and tips on preparing for extreme weather and other emergency events.
The American Red Cross of Massachusetts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist individuals and families displaced by natural and man-made disasters, including home fires, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, hazardous materials spills and other emergencies.
The flood is over and now you have a house which contains Mold. Check out this document by FEMA for information on how to proceed and clean up without causing further harm to the health and safety of your family.
A helpful list of items to have and things to prepare for in case of a natural disaster or any other disatser can be found at this link by the MA Department of Public Safety.
If you have experienced a loss or damages to your home due to a severe storm or any other natural disaster please follow this link to find assistance. FEMA
Steps to take for safely and efficiently drying out your home after a flood or other water damage to your home. This booklet is prepared for the consumer by the EPA
A guide to help homeowners and contractors safely clean up homes damaged by floods during natural disasters. Creating a Healthy Home: is a do-it-yourself booklet that provides easy, step-by-step instructions on how to handle mold removal in flooded homes before starting to rebuild or renovate.
This link to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has a summary page of recovery resources and preventative measures as well as links to pertinent Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) websites and publications regarding flooding.
During a power outage it is helpful to know what your family should do to stay safe and protected. This information is provided to you by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration.
In any kind of Emergency situation the reader might experience, this site is a great starting point to find information on help and resources that will help you cope with your situation.
Every homeowner and renter needs to know if their insurance actually covers flood damages. This links the reader to the FEMA page with information on the Flood insurance Reform Act of 2012, flood zones and special flood hazard areas and much more.
If you live in an area of Massachusetts that is prone to tornado acitivity you might want to visit this MEMA link. The information listed here will help you be prepared and stay safe in case a tornado should ever pass near your home.
Information on how to prepare your home and keep your families safe in case of serious storm or weather situations. Following are a number of important helpful tips to consider regarding the dangers of roof collapses, power outages and traveling,

Pet Needs Support

If buying food for your pet has become a hardship you can contact them for help with food and other supplies. Elders can have cat or dog food delivered through meals on wheels in the Amherst area. Check this website for more information.
The Humane Society offers information on how to find financial assistance for emergency vet care durng hard economic times by following this link.

Real Estate Taxes

The guide will help you with the following questions: When should taxpayers file their appeal? How much does it cost to file an appeal? What is the difference between the formal and informal procedures? How do taxpayers and assessors prove their cases? Do I need an attorney?
This booklet for the senior homeowner by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has information on real estate tax exemptions for seniors.
The City of Boston provides a number of property tax assistance programs for qualified homeowners. They are: Personal Exemptions, Residential Exemption and Tax Deferral for elderly.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides Veterans and their families with this detailed information on property tax exemptions for them.
The Massachusetts department of Revenue and Mass. Association of Assessing Officers have created this document to explain the full process of assessing property taxes for the home owners and the general public.

Rebates and Tax Incentives

If you are a homeowner/Landlord who recently installed, or is planning on installing a high efficiency gas heating system this site is for you to learn about available rebates and how to apply for them.
Are your monthly energy bills too high? Now might be the best time to replace an old appliance or old light bulbs with new and more energy efficient ones.The Mass Save website helps you find lighting and appliance incentives throughout the Commonwealth just follow this link and search in your area.
Solar and wind powered devices utilized as a primary or auxiliary power system for the purpose of heating and supplying energy to a home can qualify for property tax exemptions for a period of 20 years from the date of installation.
This program is designed to provide information to consumers and help them make the best use of federal income tax incentives for the purchase and use of energy efficient & renewable energy products and technology.

Landlord

Education & Advice

"NOLO" works on making the American legal system accessible for everyone: this link on home sharing will help you answer questions you have regarding home sharing and room mate tenancies.
If you are facing a utility shut-off, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400. The AGO may be able to provide additional information and/or mediation services to assist you in resolving your situation
Massachusetts laws prevent utility companies from shutting off service to people in special situations. Each utility company in Massachusetts must follow the laws and provide service to households that qualify for shutoff protection.
A law in Massachusetts allows landlords to bill tenants, who are starting new tenancies, directly for their water consumption if the property meets the requirements for sub metering and water conservation. This booklet answers basic questions about landlords’ and tenants’ rights and responsibilities under this new law. Prepared by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

Energy Savings

Apply for a 0% loan to help you make qualified energy efficient home improvements with the Mass Save HEAT Loan Program. You could qualify for a loan up to $25,000 with terms up to 7 years, depending on your program administrator and the loan provider.
You can have your personal positive impact on the Environment. CET started the Go Green initiative in 2011 to support residents in this endeavor, to find out what steps you can take follow this link.
ENERGY STAR. Information about saving energy in your home, including a tool for comparing your home's energy performance to other homes plus information about energy saving appliances, lighting, and home improvements.
Energy Federation products for home owners/ tenants and landlords alike: A site for consumers interested in learning and purchasing energy saving light bulbs,fixtures and more.
The Department of Energy created this site for Homeowners, Landlords & prospective Buyers. It provides technical and practical information on Insulation (Products) and how a “good thermal barrier” meaning a properly insulated home can save you money on heating your home during the winter and cooling it in the summer.
Information on your energy providers how to find $ assistance plus direct links to your energy provider can be found on this site. By the MA department of telecommunications and energy.
The Weatherization Assistance Program, helps low-income households reduce their heating bills by providing home energy efficiency services.

FAIR Housing

The “MA Department of Housing and Community Development” created this extensive list of housing related resources for all Massachusetts residents.
ATTENTION BUILDERS & DEVELOPERS: HOUSING DEVELOPMENT RULES. This program is designed to promote compliance with Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements. It is meant to provide resources, technical guidance and support for the building and building design industry.
The Fair Housing Center welcomes you to our HOUSING RESOURCE LINKS page.
Every American has a right to fair housing. The right to live where you choose, to raise a family, to own a home--in dignity and without fear of discrimination--is a fundamental right guaranteed to all. It cannot be denied to anyone because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap.

General Information

This brochure helps tenants and landlords during the winter season with: no heat situation, how to maintain oil delivery, how to keep a heating system in good repair and how to best insulate your home to safe on your heating fuel bills.
Private Landlords who own multifamily housing units should read this web page by "Masslegalhelp" in order to learn about the process of checking a tenants criminal record.

Health and Safety

The EPA provides this guide to Home Owners on help with mold and mildew in and around the home. This site is also very helpful for flood victim's and owners who live in humid climates.
This book tells you what you need to know about fixing the lead hazards in your home. This is called de*leading. Follow the steps in this book to make your home safe for everyone who lives there. CLPPP is here to help you. If you have any questions about de-leading, call us toll-free at 1-800-532-9571.
Consumer's guide to Massachusetts requirements for carbon monoxide alarms. This guide is presented by the Department of Fire Services and answers frequently asked questions about carbon monoxide poisoning and carbon monoxide alarms.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the Federal Gov. has come out with a guide regarding pest control and pesticide safety in your home.
FEMA mold and mildew removal booklet for flood damaged homes.
Many people express interest in the availability of financial assistance for deleading. The following programs have been created to provide such assistance for qualifying Massachusetts property owners.
GET THE LEAD OUT program by MASSHOUSING. The program helps homeowners, using low cost funds by assisting them with lead removal. This program is subject to certain requirements. Here is a brief description of some of the areas covered by the program:
This section of HUD's website includes information on lead hazards, deleading, and federal regulations. It also includes a link to lead paint disclosure forms.
Informacio del plomo en espanol.
Puntos Principales del Captulo II del Codigo Sanitario del Estado
This site has general information about lead paint hazards and deleading, lists of licensed inspectors and financing programs, information on moderate risk deleading training, legal documents, and statistics regarding lead poisoning in Massachusetts.
The MA Executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs offers this list of sites which collect hazardous waste across the state, this list includes contact information as well.
This link is a must read for Landlords / Homeowners who heat with Oil. As of July 1, 2010 a new heating system upgrade and insurance law came into effect in Massachusetts. Visit this website to familiarize yourself with the new requirements for Oil line safety and new insurance requirements to cover clean up of possible leaks.
The MA sanitary code spells out everything a Lanlord needs to know in regards to Safe and Sanitary Housing requirements.
This site is for the consumer who wants to learn more about the health of their home and find resources to improve or fix possible health problems in the home.
If you have medicine you don't need any longer or if you have old and outdated medication you should not discard of it in your household trash. To learn what you can do with it visit this site.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides you with steps to protect your family from Lead Hazards and teaches you how to identify such hazards and how to minimize your risk of exposure.

Home Improvements

Whether new or old, no house is in perfect condition. Smart home buyers today schedule a home inspection by a licensed inspector and include many of the common tests for environmental concerns, such as lead paint, radon, asbestos, UFFI (urea formaldehyde foam insulation), septic (Title V certification) and ask about and inspect for undesirable features such as underground oil storage tanks.
For existing homeowners, the 3D HELP (Home Equity Loan Program) offers 0% interest, deferred payment home improvement loans of up to $30,000. Follow this link for more information and applications
Cambridge Home Owners: If you need a zero to low interest loan for home improvements, have credit problems and need to refinance your home, or need to remove lead from your home, this website offers you contact information.
Are you a landlord who wants to improve accessibility for your units in order to accommodate a tenant whit a disability? You may apply for a loan to help finance this improvement. To learn more about such loans check this Mass. Gov website.
The Massachusetts Governments portal for all professional licenses can be found here. If you are about to hire a contractor you can check if their licenses are current. This page also offers you updates on many other MA licenses.
NeighborWorks® Southern Mass offers housing rehabilitation and loan programs to homeowners. Once a request is made, household income is assessed. A construction manager then does a thorough inspection, creates a work write-up, and cost estimate. Loans are designed with varying interest rates and terms to meet the specific needs of the customer. For more information visit this site.
TRI a local 501C3 provides Housing rehab program management and delivery in communities located on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard and New Bedford. For more information or to apply follow this link.
This HUD link will help you find resources on weatherizing your home and in the process save money on your future utility bills.

Laws and Regulations

This page offers landlords & tenants information on eviction practices and laws for Massachusetts. You will find not only practical information but also access to legal forms and other helpful resources.
This 22-page booklet prepared by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute answers questions about the eviction storage law. Updated February 5, 2013.
In accordance with the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code residential dwellings must be provided with heat from September 15th until June 15th each year. Heating systems must be capable of providing heat that meets a minimum temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and 64 degrees Fahrenheit from 11:01 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. More details can be found here.
In many parts of Massachusetts, tenant landlord matters can be handled in Housing Court. This web site provides information on the jurisdiction of housing courts, answers to common questions, and information on dispute mediation.
How to be a landlord in MA and avoid legal trouble: This "Guide" offers advice on tenant and landlord laws and regulations for the small property owner or the new landlord in Massachusetts This booklet does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for individual legal advice by a competent attorney who is familiar with all the details of your situation.
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs "Landlords Rights and Responsbilities" page contains useful information for Landlords in understanding their tenant and knowing who has what rights and responsibilities in this particular relationship. The information is provided in the following languages: Enlish, Portugese & Spanish.
Information on Eviction Law, Lead Paint Law, Public Housing and Tenant Water Submetering Law as well as Landlord and Tenant forms.
If you’ve ever rented a home or apartment, you are probably familiar with the woes of a difficult landlord or tenant. Before beginning the search for a new apartment or renters, make sure you understand Massachusetts landlord and tenant law to ensure a favorable outcome.
Here you find a summary of Massachusetts landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits. Provided by NOLO.

Property Management

You bought or are in the process of buying a multifamily home or a duplex. It’s best to know your rights and responsibilities when purchasing a multi family home. This comprehensive guide by Fannie Mae will help you through the process in becoming a well informed Landlord.
The City of Boston offers this free series of seminars for Landlords and property managers. This free six-hour seminar, designed especially for new homeowners provides you with information on property maintenance, lead paint, landlord and tenant issues as well as budgeting.
Landlords should check this list, compiled by MBHP’s inspectors, to assure their properties are equipped with the following standard items before any housing quality inspection for your section 8 tenant. This list is in general a helpful guide for any property owner. It will give you the opportunity to know what is needed to keep your rental apartment/home in good and safe condition for your tenants.
Are you having conflicts with your landlord? Seeking guidance on how to get your condo association more active? Are you having problems with a tenant? Would you like help resolving a dispute with a neighbor? Mediation for Results may be able to help with these and many other issues: follow this link for help and more information.
This page by National Grid can help landlords and or property managers set up special accounts during changes in tenancy. This also offers landlords and property managers information they can pass on to their tenants regarding N-grid payment plans and energy efficiency programs.
This is the sixth edition of this valuable manual for Landlords by HAP Inc. This manual provides a wide variety of up-to-date information on all aspects of residential rental property management in Massachusetts and is endorsed by the Property Management Training Institute. It is full of sample forms and clear explanations, making it an exceptional reference for all Massachusetts Landlords. To order a manual follow this link to amazon.com.
Here you find a "sample" Massachusetts standard residential lease agreement (Fixed term). This document is provided by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors.
MBHP offers a variety of supportive services for Property Owners /Landlords. If you are uncertain about finding a quality tenant who will pay the rent on time and will respect your property and you want to make sure you follow all Fair Housing Law requirements you should visit this page for sound advice.

Real Estate Taxes

This document lists application dates for real estate tax abatements, exemptions and deferrals.
The City of Boston provides real estate tax assessments and a number of property tax assistance programs for qualified homeowners. Information on Exemptions and abatements can be found by following this link.
When should taxpayers file their appeal? How much does it cost to file an appeal? What is the difference between the formal and informal procedures? How do taxpayers and assessors prove their cases? Do I need an attorney?
The Senior Property Tax Work-Off Program is a program that allows seniors to do volunteer work for their local governments in exchange for a reduction in their property taxes. You will have to check with your Town to see if they offer this program for Seniors.
This link will help the senior home owner understand property tax exemptions specific to them.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides Veterans and their families with this detailed information on property tax exemptions for them.
A taxpayer guide to assessing real property in Massachusetts.This booklet explains the full process of assessing property taxes to the home owners and the general public.

Rental Assistance

Massachusetts Fair Market Rents can be found here: scroll down on the menu to select "Massachusetts" then click the button for Statewide FMR's this will get you the current FMR's for your specific area.
This section of HUD's website provides information on the Section 8 program, including a Section 8 Voucher Fact Sheet, Housing Choice Voucher Program regulations, and a list of Fair Market Rents for the entire country.

Rental Listings

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Prospective Buyer

Credit Readiness

This non profit credit counseling agency helps consumers take control of their financial lives through credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education. Visit this site to find a certified credit counselor and to receive a complimentary budget and debt consultation.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Here one can also find information on possible "imposter credit report websites" of which you should stay away from.
This very helpful document from the University of Minnesota's extension service will help you understand the complexity of credit scores and why it is important to manage your credit well if you plan on borrowing money now or in the future.
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching you the basics of your household finances. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401K.
Everyone should check their credit annually. It is best to always be informed about your credit status, in order to avoid financial trouble and possible credit fraud. To get your annual free credit report follow this link.
The Federal Reserve's new rules for credit card companies mean new credit card protections for you. The Credit Card Act is also called the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. President Obama signed the bill into law in May, 2009. Many of the most significant provisions of the law took effect in February, 2010. The law has two main purposes: Fairness & Transparency.
With Equifax’s announcement of its catastrophic security breach, now would be a really good time to consider freezing your credit, if you haven’t already. Credit freezes are one of the most effective ways for consumers to protect themselves against identity theft — and this goes for anyone at any time — regardless of whether you were impacted by this specific breach. How to freeze your credit with all three agencies

Financing

Are you looking to buy a home in Attleboro, Brockton, Cape Cod and the Islands, Fall River, New Bedford, North Quabbin, Quincy, Southbridge, Springfield, Taunton, or Worcester? Consider an affordable, low or no-downpayment loan through the Buy Cities program.
The Section 203(k) program is the Department's primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single- family properties. The program allows the borrower to get just one mortgage loan, at a long-term fixed or adjustable rate, to finance or refinance both the acquisition and the rehabilitation of a home.
This page allows you to look up the FHA or GSE mortgage limits for one or more areas of the Country, and lists them by state, county, or Metropolitan Statistical Area.
“Energy Efficient Mortgages” also known as EEMs, make it easier for borrowers to qualify for loans to purchase homes with specific energy-efficiency improvements. Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs.
Discrimination in mortgage lending is prohibited by the federal Fair Housing Act and HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity actively enforces those provisions of the law. To learn all you need to know about fair lending practices and laws and how it applies to you follow this link.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System offers this link to news and events on the markets,economy, interest,labor and other important news.
The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) reverse mortgage program which enables you to withdraw some of the equity in your home. You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing.
MassHousing's Home for the Brave program offers affordable, no-downpayment mortgage financing for veterans of the U.S. Armed Services. In conjunction, grants from the Veterans Administration are available to help disabled veterans make accessibility upgrades to properties they are interested in purchasing.
This is a direct link to press releases by HUD. Here you can find the latest housing NEWS released by the Federal Government's housing agency.
Individual Development Accounts(IDAs) are special savings accounts that match the deposits of low- and moderate-income people. For every dollar saved in an IDA, savers receive a corresponding match. Savers complete financial education classes and use their savings for an asset-building purpose. For more information as well as finding a program near you follow this link.
If you see any home loan advertisement that seems a too good to be true, it probably is. The information here alerts you to possible loan modification scams.
MassHousing is the State's affordable housing bank. We lend money at rates below the conventional market to support rental and home ownership opportunities for low-and moderate-income residents of the Commonwealth. We work with an extensive network of approved lenders to deliver our home mortgage programs to first-time home buyers.
A mortgage is a loan that is used to finance the purchase of your home. It consists of 5 parts: collateral, principal,interest, taxes, and insurance. When you agree to a mortgage, you enter into a legal contract promising to repay the loan, plus interest and other costs. Your home is used as collateral for the loan. Here you find information about this process and your responsibilities.
This website was designed to assist potential home owners in the home buying process. Here you can find state sponsored mortgage products which are available to home buyers of low and moderate income in Massachusetts.
The Section 184 Loan Program was designed to provide access to mortgage financing for Native American and Alaskan Native tribal members. Section 184 home loans are guaranteed 100% by the Office of Loan Guarantee within HUD's Office of Native American Programs.
This page by the MA Division of Banks lists mortgage companies'who's applications to renew their licenses were denied and are no longer authorized to conduct business as mortgage brokers:
This calculator enables you to perform a practice calculation of what your most likely monthly payments will be if you will be using the new ONE mortgage program.
The ONE Mortgage Program replaces the previous Soft Second Mortgage program. For more information on this new program follow this Mass.Gov.link.
The Operation Welcome Home mortgage program supports veterans, active-duty military, members of the Reserves and National Guard, and Gold Star Families in achieving the dream of homeownership.
The MA Secretary of State's Q & A on Private Mortgage Insurance and the Federal Home Owners Act of 1998 can be found here.
HUD's RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) seeks to reduce unnecessarily high settlement costs by requiring disclosures to home buyers.
Esta Declaração sobre o ONE Mortgage descreve os termos, condições, e restrições que se aplicam a potenciais compradores de imóvel que desejam participar do Programa ONE Mortgage (“Programa”).
Esta Declaración Informativa del ONE Mortgage describe los términos, condiciones, y restricciones que aplican para aquellos compradores potenciales y que quieren participar en el Programa de ONE Mortgage (“el Programa”).
If you are a first-time homebuyer, the ONE MORTGAGE program is for you. This program offers you the comfort of knowing that your mortgage is financially sustainable for you. This information is provided to you by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership MHP>
Section 502 loans are primarily used to help low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas. Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. Applicants for loans may have an income of up to 115% of the median income for the particular area
VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of our mission to serve you, we provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing- related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy. VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.

Forms & Letters

If you are shopping for your home loan, you should consult this settlement cost document by HUD.
At the closing the buyer will receive a settlement statement from the closing attorney, it is wise to be familiar and understand all costs involved prior to the closing. This sample document will help you prepare and ask questions from your lender ahead of time.

General Information

Need to check out a business, a contractor or learn about a business practice that seems to be questionable. This site will help you do just that.
Here you will find information on buying or building a home, resources for renters, help for businesses, information on home improvements plus special help for senior homeowners.
2017 HUD approved Section 8 Income limits are effective 4/7/2017. Limits for all MA cities and towns can be found on pages 98 and 99 of this PDF document.
Founded in 1924,the International Institute of Boston helps immigrants and refugees successfully integrate into New England.The Saving for success program for immigrants / helps start a small business and offers homebuyer education programs;
All the latest hot topics from the Internal Revenue Service. Here you can look up any tax news including possible new developents regarding the "American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" related to Tax issues.
This Lawyer Referral Service is a non-profit public service of the Boston Bar Association designed to provide you with an impartial referral to an attorney in your city or town. Be aware that lawyers referrals on this site do not provide free law services.

Health and Safety

EPA's guide to mold and moisture in your home.
This document by the EPA will help you understand asbestos: what it is, its health effects, where it could be in your home, and what to do about it if you do find asbestos in your home.
This site by the MA Department of Environmental Protection offers homeowners and home buyers necessary information on Asbestos and the regulations dealing with asbestos in a home.
This site provides information about lead, lead hazards, and gives you some simple steps to protect your family.
New England's indoor air quality information site by the EPA.
This guide by the City of Boston provides you will all the necessary information on the Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detector Laws for Massachusetts.
This government website by the EPA provides you with all the information you need to keep yourself and your family safe from CARBON MONOXIDE poisoning. Here you can also find information on many other possible air pollutants in your home.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides you with steps to protect your family from Lead Hazards and teaches you how to identify such hazards and how to minimize your risk of exposure.
Here you find the Environmental Protection Agency's information on Radon in your area, on how to test for Radon and protect yourself and your family.

Home Inspection

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) website helps you find a certified home inspector. You can search by zip code, metro area or neighborhood. The advanced search function can even locate an ASHI Inspector by last name, area code or company name.
If you have questions about the home inspection process you are not the only one. The following link on the Mass Housing website gives you some answers to basic questions home buyers have.
A satisfactory home inspection is a major component of purchasing a home. The buyer selects a licensed home inspector and pays for the inspection. Here are some practical tips on what a good home inspection should cover and why it is important for a buyer to hire a reputable inspector for this test of your future home.

Homebuyer Education

Owning a home is the American Dream. It’s a great way to create wealth and pass it on to your family… to build a nest egg for college or retirement... and to protect against life’s setbacks
The Allston Brighton CDC's homeownership program assists low- and moderate- income homebuyers in overcoming obstacles to homeownership by providing homebuyer education, individual counseling, financial assistance, and access to financial and professional resources. Classes are taught in Enlish and in Spanish.
Basic Homebuyer education. Here you can get basic information on money matters, pre qualification, home inspection, real estate agents and more. The education from this site does not replace a full accredited home buyer workshop with your local home buyer counseling agency.
The Boston Home Center helps Boston residents purchase, improve, and keep their homes. We offer training and financial help to first-time home buyers; guidance and funding for homeowners for home improvements; and counseling to help families avoid foreclosure.
HUD's 9 step guide to buying a home. This site offers the new buyer a wealth of all necessary information needed when considering buying a home.
Financial Education Associates provides classes for Boston home buyers through the Boston Home Center, City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development.
This Newburyport agency offers down payment assistance programs, homebuyer selection for affordable units services and educational workshops for future homebuyers. Follow this link for all thier programs.
We are serving: Burlington, Lexington, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester, and Woburn, with Housing Assistance programs, homebuyer education, down payment and closing cost assistance, Landlord tenant mediation and much more.
Purchasing a home, whether is be your first, second, third, etc, can be a very daunting, time consuming, and the biggest financial decision most of us will ever make. You can meet one-on-one with a counselor to discuss the criteria for buying a home, review mortgage products for first time home buyers, determine a budget and overall credit history information; a counselor can assist clients in preparing an “action plan” to follow to prepare for home ownership.
If owning a home seems to be out of your reach because: You don’t really understand the whole process, you need help with budgeting and saving or because you have poor credit, you might want to consider joining this club in preparation for future home ownership.
This site by the "Citizens Housing And Planning Association"(CHAPA) offers a STATE WIDE schedule on available and current homebuyer workshops.
The Road Home is MassHousing's online First-time homebuyer course. In order to receive a MassHousing loan you must complete this course or a certified in- person Homebuying 101 course. Please Note: The certificate you receive by completing this course is only valid for MassHousing loans. If you are applying for another First-time Homebuyer mortgage product, you must take the in-person Homebuying 101 course to receive a valid certificate.
Buying your first home is not easy, especially today. But we can show you what it will take to make it happen. Here you can find a complete list of all of our scheduled home buyer classes.
Curious about the process of home buying in Massachusetts? Try this step by step guide with clear and accurate information provided by MassHousing.
MVHP a nonprofit organization who promotes affordable home ownership opportunities. "Project Genesis" is the homebuyer training offered to buyers in the Greater Lowell community. For more details and class dates follow this link:
This non profit corporation has been working on transforming communities since 1978. They offer many programs such as: Mortgage products, Homebuyer Education, Financial Fitness Workshops, Reverse Mortgages, Foreclosure Counseling and more.
This non profit community development corporation offers homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, consumer financial education as well as small business assistance to low and moderate income people and families in the Amherst area of Massachusetts. Check their website for detailed information on all their programs.

Homebuyer Programs

The Homebuying Mentors is an independent, not-for-profit resource for Massachusetts residents. We help plan for a future of responsible homeownership.
Law enforcement officers, pre- Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and firefighters/emergency medical technicians can contribute to community revitalization while becoming homeowners through HUD's Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program.
Before you contact HUD about more details on this program you might want to consult this page of questions and answers.
This program by Berkshire Housing helps low income families achieve their dream of home ownership through education, counseling and financing support. If you think you are ready to take this big step visit this website for details and contact information.
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable loans. This link will direct you to a local habitat program.
Nantucket’s cost for real estate are about 85% over the average cost of housing in MA, habitat is trying to help create more affordable housing for the working family on Nantucket, to learn more about their programs and how to donate property got to this website:
We help first time home buyers, offer foreclosure counseling to current homeowners to avoid loosing their homes. We encourage asset building and money management and also offer academic support for youths. To learn about all available programs visit this website.
MVHP a nonprofit organization who promotes affordable home ownership opportunities for low and moderate income earners.” With offices in Lowell, Massachusetts, MVHP focuses its services – which include down payment assistance and first time home buyer training programs – in the Greater Lowell community.
The NHNC Program allows a property owner having more than one residential dwelling on a lot to sell one of these dwellings (at an affordable price), as long as the dwelling has the Nantucket Housing Needs Covenant. This Covenant, among other things, subjects the home to a sales price formula and a residency/occupancy requirement.Follow this link for available for sale properties.
This is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. We believe that decent, safe, and affordable housing is a matter of conscience and action for all members of our community.
Nuestra provides a variety of services, which are designed to strengthen, increase and retain homeowners in the Roxbury and Dorchester area of Boston. They provide education to consumers on the home purchase process, assist them throughout the process, help them avoid predatory lending and maintain and increase their wealth. Classes are taught in a variety of languages so please check this website for more detailed information.

Insurance Information

Homeowners insurance provides coverage in the event of damage to your property, as well as liability for injuries and damage you cause to other people.
The Massachusetts consumer affairs website on homeowners insurance offers you all necessary information you will need when deciding on your insurance coverage.
The Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA) also known as the Massachusetts FAIR Plan (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) provides basic property insurance on eligible property for applicants who have been unable to gain insurance through the voluntary market.
If you live in a home that is considered "high-risk" or plan to move to a high-risk location, you may have difficulty obtaining an insurance policy. This applies especially to coastal residents.

Manufactured Homes

If you own a modular / mobile home this site has important information for you. Mobile home park tenants in Massachusetts should understand their rights before moving into a mobile home park. Follow this link for that information.
This guide provides a comprehensive discussion of the legal rights and responsibilities of residents and owners of manufactured housing communities in Massachusetts.
MMHA is a Membership Organization of owner/operators of HUD code factory built homes in communities and pre-76 mobile home parks. Our association represents associate members who are tied in to communities through their work and some resident-owned/operated manufactured/mobile home communities.
Chapter 16 mobile home tenants rights for Massachusetts. Eight edition May 2017.

Ownership Opportunities

Creating and maintaining a diversified housing stock that is accessible, affordable, and energy-efficient are important priorities for the City of Boston. Here you can find a list of current home ownership options.
This page will direct you to housing lotteries and to "Mass Access" where you will be able to search for currently available home ownership and rental opportunities throughout the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Boston Home Center, in an effort to improve the level of personalized services offers this link for you to register. Signing up here will enable them to better match you with assistance, classes and potential homes to purchase.
This is a "Cohousing Community" consisting of 1,2 & 4 Bedroom homes available for purchase. Each family owns their own home and shares the common facilities, which include a large dining room,kitchen,living room, children's space, exercise room and workshop. Sawyer Hill EcoVillage, comprised of Mosaic Commons and Camelot Cohousing, was developed as part of the Chapter 40B program.
Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods. Residents consciously committ themselves to living as a community. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground and a common house, where they regularly gather and spend time together.
The Condominiums page allows users to search for FHA-approved condominium projects by location, name, or status. These properties are not for sale by the FHA
Citizens Housing and Planning Association lists current affordable lotteries and resale homes across the state of Massachusetts. For your convenience the listings are in alphabetical order.
Massaffordablehomes.org is the State’s most complete listing of affordable home lotteries. Published as a community service by the non-profit Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA), the site is designed to help low- to moderate-income homebuyers find a home they can afford, and educate them about the lottery and home buying process.
The MA Gov lists affordable Home Ownership units from throughout the State at this site.
Madison Park Devlopment Corporation. They develop affordable housing for low and moderate income families in Roxbury. Here you can find information on rental housing as well as new and existing home ownership opportunities.
Maloney Properties Inc: is a full service property management company offering residential housing units all over Massachusetts.This site will give you information on affordable rentals, sales and cooperative Family housing, senior housing and housing for people living with disabilities.
The Island Housing Trust works closely with island towns, architects, and builders when designing and building our homes and neighborhoods. Our goals are to acquire property that is close to workplaces, accessible by public transportation, within areas that have already been developed, and to use existing housing stock through renovations and house moves whenever possible.
Home ownership opportunities for Nantucket. This links you to the latest news about this project.
This non-profit organization started by the Franklin County Housing Authority works on expanding housing and economic opportunities for residents of this western mass. Region. To learn more about available homes and other programs visit their website here.

Predatory Lending

Every year, misinformed homebuyers, often first time purchasers or seniors,become victims of predatory lending or loan fraud. Don’t let this happen to you! This brochure by HUD offers you guidance on predatory lending practices.
Predatory mortgage lending practices strip borrowers of home equity and threaten families with foreclosure,even possible homelessness.This HUD brochure provides information on these practices so you will not fall into the same trap others already have.
Interest only Mortgage payments and payment option ARM’s information by the Federal Reserve Board: This guide has detailed information on what you need to know if contemplating one of these mortgages for your home purchase. Be sure you understand the loan terms and the risks you face. If you're not comfortable with these risks, ask about another loan product.

Real Estate Taxes

Ma Department of Revenue's Real Estate Tax Credit for Persons Age 65 and Older (known as the Circuit Breaker Credit) – A Refundable Credit
The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides Veterans and their families with this detailed information on property tax exemptions for them.
The Massachusetts department of Revenue and Mass. Association of Assessing Officers have created this document to explain the full process of assessing property taxes to the home owners and the general public.

Tenant

Consumer Tips

Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. Lifeline is a government benefit program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. New customers who qualify for Lifeline Assistance will receive a FREE Android™ Smartphone, 350 FREE minutes, Unlimited FREE texts and 500 MB FREE Data each month.
Information on buying or building a home, resources for people who rent, help for businesses, home improvements and special help for senior homeowners.
The information here can help you better understand your utility bills and your rights as a energy consumer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Fuel Assistance or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) site by the MA Government provides you with general program information. This program helps eligible families with funds towards their heating costs and energy savings installations.
This site by the MA government provides the interested consumer with information on current energy market data including prices for heating (heating oil, propane & electricity) and automobile fuels, as well as alternative fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas for vehicles
The 1997 Electric Restructuring Act substantially changed the way the Massachusetts electric utility industry is structured. To understand your electric bills, it is helpful to know these energy terms:
Helping Low-Income Utility Customers Manage Overdue Bills through Arrearage Management Programs (AMP)
The Internal Revenue Service has issued several recent consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. When identity theft takes place over the Internet, it is called phishing.
This flyer by the MA Department of Environmental Protection gives the consumer tips on how to use fewer disposable shopping bags and therefore protect the environment.

Disabled Consumers

Mass Access maintains a database of accessible and affordable apartments. This database catalogs location of housing, rent level, bedroom size, adaptable or accessible features, vacancy status, amenities, and neighborhood features
The Mission of The Arc of Massachusetts is to enhance the lives of individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities and their families. Information on varied resources and program services can be found here.
This organization provides advocacy and educational services for people with disabilities. A new autism resource center is now available as well.
Cape Abilities serves individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod by offering educational,counseling & housing programs as well as residential, therapeutic, social and employment support.
We help people with disabilities learn to live more independently. Specialists provide one-to-one services to individuals in their homes throughout Central Massachusetts. These services include intake/assessment, peer counseling, advocacy, independent living skills training, emergency intervention, and information and referral.
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for public policy that ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.
The Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled (CORD) has been aggressively working since 1984 to advance the independence, productivity, and integration of people with disabilities, including deaf and hard of hearing people, into mainstream society.
This Nonprofit, self-help organization run by and for people with affective disorders. Includes support group listings, event calendar, and a bookstore.
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities. Their mission is to provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.
This website by the National Association Of The Deaf explains the rights and conditions under which deaf tenants can install modifications necessary for the safety and enjoyment of their rented premises.
Helping Our Women offers direct services to women diagnosed with chronic, life threatening, or disabling conditions who live in the towns of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown. All of our services are free and confidential.
This Services and Resources Guide reflects services funded through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.They assist providers in making appropriate referrals for individuals in need of HIV, Hepatitis, STD and/or substance use related screening, testing, treatment and other services. For more information about services check this link.
South Boston’s Hope and Recovery Coalition website provides people with substance abuse or psychiatric problems with information on where to get help NOW.
A helpful publication that explains the process of obtaining housing assistance help from shelters to home ownership. It is published by the MA Department of Housing and Economic Development.
HUD certificates and vouchers that are available for people with disabilities require that applicants meet this definition. During determination of eligibility you will be required to provided disability verification from a health care professional.
JRI's works with individuals and their families to provide high quality, consumer responsive and innovative programs in the area of housing,job training, day habilitation and much more in many communities in Massachusetts.
JRI Health runs several different models of supported housing programs for persons with HIV/AIDS and other disabilities. JRI Health is the third largest AIDS housing provider in the country, offering over 800 units of housing.
This agency near Boston, MA provides homes,jobs, education and other supportive living services for people with developmental disabilities.
People living at home (children as well as adults) who need more help than family members can give, can get certain long-term-care services to help them live at home. MassHealth offers three special programs that allow certain MassHealth Standard members to get these needed long-term-care services at home.
M-POWER is a member run organization of mental health consumers and current and former psychiatric patients. They advocate for political and social change within the mental health system, the community, city, and statewide. They stand against stigma, bigotry,and discrimination,believing all people are entitled to lives free of prejudice and oppression.
The goal of the Assistive Technology Exchange in New England is to put AT equipment that is not currently being used into the hands of someone who can benefit from it. The exchange is a free "classified ad" type resource designed to help people find, buy, sell or give away used AT equipment.
DDS support people in defining their own needs and preferences in many areas including daily life, personal goals, home, work, leisure and life-style. DDS is committed to creating opportunities for people to become fully integrated in their communities.
(DMH) sets the standards for the operation of mental health facilities and community residential programs and provides clinical, rehabilitative and supportive services for adults with serious mental illness, and children and adolescents with serious mental illness or serious emotional disturbance. To find out if you are eligible for any of these or other mental health services.
Use these helpful links on the MA Health and Human Services website to find information on disability services like housing and supported living, transportation, abuse prevention, as well as disability determination and how claims are processed by the Social Security Administration.
The MassAccess Housing Registry helps people find affordable housing in Massachusetts. A key feature of the Registry is to highlight homes for people with disabilities who need accessible or barrier-free housing.
The Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program, operated by Easter Seals Massachusetts, is an alternative financing project that gives people with disabilities and elders access to low interest cash loans to purchase assistive devices and services.
MCDHH serves as the principal agency in the state on behalf of deaf, late deafened, and hard of hearing people.The four regional offices provide a broad range of services including case management, skill training, a statewide interpreter referral service.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, or speech disabled can contact MassRelay 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year enabling hearing people or people who do not use a text telephone (TTY).
This non-profit organization helps people with long term mental health issues find and secure employment, housing, education, mental health services and more while acting as an information clearinghouse and co-ordinating body for the community.
Our services include: vocational rehabilitation assistance; assistive technology; orientation and mobility services for independent travel; medical assistance services; specialized services for children and elders who are blind.
MOAR is part of a New England-wide movement to speak up for those in recovery from alcohol and other drug addictions. We strive to give a face and a voice to those in recovery, and to increase awareness about the positive contributions of addiction recovery in our communities and in the workplace.
This agency helps individuals with disabilities live independently and go to work. They serve individuals with all types of disabilities except those who are blind. Individuals with visual disabilities are served through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. Here you find comprehensive information and resources from basic housing and food, to education and training information.
The Boston Resource Center has various support groups, gym access, a library, computer access and the Karl Ackerman Recovery is Real Instruction Lab and opportunites to connect with other people with lived experience with mental health issues. The BRC is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am-3pm.
Contained within this site is a wealth of information for people with disabilities, their friends, families and the people who serve them. Information within this site focuses primarily on Massachusetts. Search their database for disability programs and services in Massachusetts.
If you are disabled the Anti-discrimination laws offer you protection and help. You may be able to request a reasonable accommodation (for Housing) during the occupancy cycle, whether it be admissions, tenancy, or eviction.
Road to Responsibility provides services for those with intellectual and develpmental disabilitie. Their programs are geard towards each persons specific needs. Individuals are taught how to manage all aspects of life in safe and comfortable home settings. Follow this link for more details on home placement availabilities.
This guide by "The Simple Dollar" explains how Social Security disability benefits work while helping you determine whether your disability, illness, or chronic condition is enough to qualify. We’ll walk you through each step of the process, and tell you what to expect during each stage of your Social Security disability application.
Span Inc offers HIV positive ex offenders reintegration services including case management and help with transitional housing.
SHIP is part of the Community Services Program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. SHIP identifies, cultivates and develops resources and services for Massachusetts residents who have sustained an externally caused traumatic brain injury.
This guide is intended for young adults who need assistance in navigating mental health and substance abuse issues,so that they may achieve their goals of recovery and become successful, independent adults who live and thrive. in the community.

Education

We work with youth who do better at ‘Hands on Learning. We provide young people with an opportunity to test interests and aptitudes. Here you can get involved in a meaningful internship and develop a community of peers while having the support and guidance of trusted advisors, internship mentors, and staff members. Transition to higher education and college seminars are also part of our program.
This is a parent education program for parents going through divorce. The goal of the program is to reduce the harmful effects of divorce on children by helping parents find healthier ways to relate to their children, and to each other, during this stressful time.
Key’s mission is to assist troubled youth and their families with developing positive live skills in order to learn how to become productive and healthy adults, through residential and non-residential programs throughout MA, RI and NH.
LEAP for Education (formerly Salem CyberSpace) a program of North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc.expands the educational and career opportunities for low-income youth, thereby providing the foundation for achievement and self sufficiency. Utilizing current technology, quality staff and innovative curricula, we successfully meet our goals for English Literacy, Computer Literacy, workplace readiness, and job internships.
Your resource for financial education and money management in Massachusetts: This site lists varied classes that can help you improve your knowledge in many areas from homebuyer classes to money managment and much more.
The Nantional Consumer Law Center focuses on conusmer education.You will find in depth information on topics such as banking,credit,mortgages, foreclosure,utility, energy efficiency and more. Most brochures are also offered in varied languages.

Elder Citizen Information

This website is designed to assist consumers and caregivers as well as professionals seeking information and resources on eldercare services. The site lists information on approximately 40,000 services and programs in Massachusetts for elders.
Here you will find expert information from Health Care Professionals who specialize in the Care of Older Adults.
If you need help paying for food, medication or more, this site by the National Council On Aging can help ypu find private or public programs available to people 55 and over.
Congregate Housing is a shared living environment designed to integrate the housing and services needs of elders and younger disabled individuals. Congregate Housing is neither a nursing home nor a medical care facility.
Community Teamwork’s Elder Peer Specialist will work with you and other agencies to obtain help and services in regards to housing, finances, transportation, legal and other needs. These services is specially designed for individuals 55 and older.
The program helps seniors maintain their independence and "age in place" by providing better access to supportive services such as case management, 24-hour on-site personal care staff, housekeeping, a daily meals program, medication reminders, transportation, shopping and laundry service to elders within their senior housing complexes.
Eldercare Locator connects older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information on senior services. You may speak to an Eldercare Locator information specialist by calling 1-800-677-1116.
Elder Services of Cape Cod and the Islands, Inc. (ESCCI) is a private, not-for-profit community-based organization dedicated to serving older adults in the twenty-two towns of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties.
Every American has a right to fair housing. The right to live where you choose, to raise a family, to own a home--in dignity and without fear of discrimination--
A resource for finding elder care resources in all of massachusets:
These dining centers in Franklin County, formerly known as congregate meals, offer hot noon meals for elders age 60 and older. These meals are offered at nine senior centers in the area, for detailed information check this link:
Harvard Pilgrim offers Medicare Supplement Plan for individuals residing in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B.
This Program provides nutritious meals to elders who are unable to leave their homes due to illness, disability or frailty through the Home Delivered Meals programs.
GoodCall's mission is to give you knowledge, tips & tools when it comes to making decisions about the safety of your home. Here is a Visual guide to helping senior citizens and disabled individuals stay safe at home.
People with Alzheimer's can live in their homes, as long as safety measures are in place. As Alzheimer's progresses, a person's abilities change. But with some creativity and problem solving, you can adapt the home environment to support these changes.
TheHomeCareDirectory.org by "the Home Care Alliance of MA" offers this comprehensive info on the web for finding Home Care, Home Health Care and Hospice Care providers throughout our area.
H.O.M.E. is dedicated to protecting the equity of low and moderate income elder homeowners. As an independent third party, H.O.M.E. receives no fees whatsoever for any loans generated. H.O.M.E. counselors focus solely on conserving and protecting the equity of low/mod-income elder homeowners.
The Hospice Team is comprised of a medical director (who partners with the person's own physician), nurse practitioner, registered nurse, respiratory therapist, home health aide, social worker, chaplain and volunteer. Hospice provides all medications related to the terminal illness as well as any medical equipment needed in the home.
Those programs assist individual health care consumers who are coping with issues of caregiving, terminal illness, and grief
This is a direct link to the HUD site on the Fair Housing Law. You will be able to download Fair Housing information in the following languages: english,spanish,arabic,cambodian, chinese, korean,russian and vietnamese.
Home health agencies today provide a full range of health and supportive services that span the full cycle of life from prenatal care through hospice and bereavement counseling. These services include skilled nursing, home health aide, homemaker/housekeeping, social services, physical, occupational, and speech therapy, emergency response, nutrition counseling, and case management.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts online resource INFORMATION BANK for elder services.
This site provides access to a library of housing articles and pamphlets prepared by Massachusetts Legal Services. There are materials on Tenant Rights, Subsidized Housing, Eviction Defense, Fair Housing and Apartment Conditions.
Go to this site to find information on access to housing, utility shut off protection, foreclosure or eviction help and much more.
The Martha's Vineyard Center for Living provides a variety of services, programs and activities for Islanders 55 and over (55+) through partnerships with the Town Councils on Aging (COAs) and other related organizations. Ten/elders
This small Mashpee Company has a team of nurses, CNAs, Home health Aides, EMTs, social workers, massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, physical therapists and others who offer Cape Cod elders help with personal care, errands, meals, transportation, advocacy. This should help in enabling you to stay in your own home as long as possible.
The Massachusetts Assisted Living Association (Mass-ALA, formerly Mass-ALFA) is a non-profit association dedicated to professionally operated assisted living residences in Massachusetts that provide housing and services for individuals with varied needs and income levels.
Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) offer a combination of housing, meals and personal care services to adults on a rental basis. The underlying philosophy of assisted living is based on providing needed services to residents in a way that enhances their autonomy, privacy and individuality. This site will help you locate an ALR in your town.
They provide daily living needs support services to elders so they can remain at home in their communities. The services are designed to encourage independence and to ensure dignity. Visit this site for information.
This links you to the MA Meals on Wheels site. Here you can type in your zip code to locate the service provider for meals on wheels in your particular neighborood.
Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people 65 years of age and older, some disabled people under 65 years of age, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.Find out about your Medicare eligibility and enrollment. Compare Home Health Agencies in your area; find out what Medicare covers
This web site was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide information and resources to help you and your family plan for future long-term care (LTC) needs.
If you are looking for housing options for yourself, an aging parent, relative, or friend you should visit this site.
Prescription Advantage, the Massachusetts state pharmaceutical assistance program (SPAP), works together with the Medicare prescription drug coverage to lower cost's for individuals enrolled in Medicare and in some cases for individuals not eligible for medicare.
These days, aging in place is easier than ever before.There are opportunities in the design of the home from simple safety measures to remodeling, so that seniors can enjoy their days without exerting a lot of mental energy on fall prevention.
This website has information on affordable senior living communities located in Massachusetts. They offer a range of lifestyle options for seniors featuring lovely accommodations and unsurpassed services at reasonable monthly rates.
Serving Health Information for Elders: by MA elder affairs provides health insurance counseling services to elderly and disabled adults all over the state for more info check this site:
SSI recipients,this booklet by the National Consumer Law Center informs you on all you need to know about this special debit card service.
Welcome to a loving and supportive LGBT Community of Seasoned Adults. A community for and with LGBT seniors in mind, who are working to create residential, educational, social and support opportunities for older LGBTs.
If you are thinking of setting up a living trust you might want to check this site. It will provide you with the necessary guidance.
We work on identifying the physical and social needs for elder persons sixty years of age or older in the towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah. Services are continually provided to improve the quality of life of elders by assisting them in remaining as physically mobile, mentally alert and socially active as possible.
It is the mission of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. This page offers you information on services for the Aging population.
Hospice addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient, while attending to the equally important needs of the family and caregivers. Some hospices also provide palliative care services for patients diagnosed with progressive disease for whom hospice care is not yet appropriate. Locate a hospice in your area, learn about Advance Care Planning

Emergency Assistance

The Needy Fund provides the residents of Cape Cod and the Islands with financial assistance for a range of basic human needs when they fall on tough times. The Needy Fund is here to help families and individuals through cancer, car accidents, family deaths, job loss, temporary and permanent disabilities, serious childhood illnesses, fire, spousal abandonment and many other urgent situations all year long.
We are providing short-term services that support families during financial crisis situations through our Fuel Assistance, Food Pantry, and Rental Assistance programs.
This agency provides emergency shelter, re-housing and housing stabilization services for to homeless families or families at risk of homelessnes. For more information select this link.
HomeBASE is a new housing program for homeless families with children and for pregnant women. The program started on August 1, 2011.For a brochure or more detailed information follow this link.
We provide services for: Emergencies, Basic needs, Fuel Assistance, Weatherization as well as Programs in Child Development.
To receive Help if you experience a housing emergency call 617-573-1370 or toll free 1-877-418-3308 TTY line 617-573- 1140 or follow this link for more information.
Si su familia está a punto de entrar en una crisis porque va a perder su vivienda y necesita solicitar Ayuda de Emergencia (refugio), aquí están algunas cosas importantes que usted debe saber:

Fair Housing

GLAD gives the reader guidance on how to deal with housing discriminaiton based on sexual orientation or HIV status.
If you feel you have been discriminated against you can print out this form, fill it out and forward it to the respective agency. This can also be used by housing advocates who are helping a client with a complaint.
This links you to the text of THE FAIR HOUSING LAW in Massachusetts. IT IS UNLAWFUL TO DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGIOUS CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, ANCESTRY OR SEX
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities. They provide legal advocacy on disability issues for Massachusetts residents.
The Office of Fair and Equal Housing opportunity administers and enforces federal laws. This HUD site informs the reader on the laws and regulations regarding housing discrimination.
This online advocate is a National resource designed to serve both the fair housing advocacy community and the general public with timely news and information regarding the issues of housing discrimination.
The “ MA Department of Housing and Community Development” created this extensive list of housing related resources for all Massachusetts residents. New site 11/19/2011.
Every American has a right to fair housing. The right to live where you choose, to raise a family, to own a home--in dignity and without fear of discrimination--is a fundamental right guaranteed to all. It cannot be denied to anyone because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap.
Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.
This site links you to information about fair housing laws, tenant landlord issues and housing discrimination in general. You will find step by step guidelines on how to file a complaint, find answers for common questions and and much more.
This page answers important questions about what a landlord and tenants rights and responsibilities are.
The Boston Fair Housing Center welcomes you to our HOUSING RESOURCE LINKS page.
Federal "Fair Housing" info in Spanish.

Food Assistance

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts provides this service guide of essential services for people in this region.
Boston Food Banks programs for children can be found here.
This soup kitchen in Lawrence MA offers nutritious evening meals every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday form 5-7:30pm. No questions asked, no forms are required and everyone who needs a meal is welcome. Counseling & support staff is available for those who could use it. The second floor also houses a beautiful children’s room.
Here Cape Coders can find information on free food for them and their families.
The State offers an electronic access card for food stamp recipients, it is called the "Electronic Benefit Transfer" card or EBT card. If you need information on how they work please visit this site.
New england’s largest food surplus provider operates the 2 dollar a bag program in and around the Boston area, here you find out about distribution centers and other details about this program
Your family might be eligible for food stamps or other programs listed on this page. Here you can fill out a short online survey to find out if you qualify and a printable application.
This links you to the application page for food assistance from the Hopkinton food Bank. (Hopkinton Residents only)
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provide this link for their child nutrition outreach program.
Our goal is to prevent Nantucket residents from going hungry. Anyone who is experiencing financial difficulty in obtaining food for themselves and their family is eligible for Food Pantry assistance
Project Bread's is making emergency food accessible to those who would otherwise go hungry. They fund 400 local food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks and food salvage programs in 132 Massachusetts communities. Click to see who is funded in your area.
SNAP benefits are provided by the federal government and administered by DTA. Residents of the Commonwealth who participate in SNAP are families with children, elders and disabled.To learn how to apply for food assistance follow this link.
Como usar su tarjeta Accesso a el Bay State (EBT) para obener sus beneficios en dinero en effective y/o de cupones de alimentos
Our mission is to work with the local communities to reduce hunger and increase food security for families, we run our own food bank farm, have general information about hunger and links to other statewide services and agencies.
If you or someone you know on Martha’s Vineyard needs the assistance of the Food Pantry, the following information should be helpful. Business hours are: (mid-October to mid-April) Monday, Wednesday and Friday 2 pm-4 pm (mid-April to mid-October) Wednesday 3 pm – 6 pm
We are a “Food pantry” and offer Community meals, a Second Glance Thrift shop, summer lunches for kids in the Gloucester, Rockport and Ipswich area. Our main focus is on providing food for people in need.
A nutrition and health educational program for women, infants and children in Massachusetts: WIC ensures that all expecting mothers, new mothers and young children receive proper nutrition for a healthy start in live.

Foreclosure Info

lo que inquilinos necesitan saber cuando sus propiedades son ejecutadas. New link 11/18/2011
O que rendeiros em propriedades em execucao de hipoteca necessitam saber. New 11/18/2011
If your landlord is facing foreclosure on the property you live in, it can be a difficult and confusing time. Various state and local laws have been created to assist renters in this situation. Depending on the law in your area, you may be permitted to stay in the residence until the end of the lease term. If you have any questions about your legal rights, follow this link for more information.
The Massachusetts Just Cause Eviction Law was passed in August 2010. It protects tenants in bank owned foreclosed properties. In most cases, a bank cannot evict you or pressure you to leave unless it has “just cause.” This pamphlet is provided to you by the Mass Law Reform Institute.
The Governor's office provides this informative brochure for all ma tenants in order to educate them on their rights in case of a landlords foreclosure. New link 11/18/2011.

General Information

The United Way introduces this statewide Information & Referral System. Calling 211 (a confidential call) you will find contact information for many services from housing, to government benefits and more, especially during a crisis situation.
ABCD offers free tax assistance at sites all across the city. Our volunteers are IRS-certified, and are fully capable of helping you find hundreds of dollars worth of tax credits you may not have even known you were eligible for!
BAMSI’s essential services Helpline attempts to help you with your housing needs and helps families apply for housing they can afford.
Boston residents can call this 311 phone line for NON emergency calls. This 24 Hour Constituent Service offers online assistance. You will find links to forms, permits, applications, service requests and payments.
The City of Boston offers many educational opportunities for home buyers, home owners and tenants who want to learn more about their housing options. You might want to earmark this page and visit frequently to find open classes.
Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD),and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC),the first public health department in the US,have pooled their resources to provide site visitors with accurate and up-to-date information on the wide variety of human services available across the city of Boston.
The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Cambodian Americans and other minorities and economically disadvantaged persons in Lowell through educational, cultural, economic and social programs.
Their primary objective is to assist and educate consumers and sellers of goods and services about consumer protection laws. CAC’s secondary objective is to insure that consumer transactions are conducted in a fair and equitable manner and that ethical merchants are protected from unjustified complaints.
Home heating laws and information for Boston Tenants.
Throughout Massachusetts there are consumer service groups whos mission is to help you find help and assistance with a variety of of needs. To find contact information for those agencies follow this link. new 11/19/11
A guide by the MA state Treasurer's office for all Massachusetts residents who need help in finding services, information and assistance.
This project helps provide basic furniture, home and baby goods to families in the Merrimack Valley area. This program helps families gain independence while at the same time saving our enviroment by reusing goods rather than discarding them in our landfills. This link is for familes who need goods as well as donors who would like to recycle their slightly used still funtional items.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable credit that is available to certain individuals and families who have low-to-moderate levels of earned income (wages, salary, tips, bonuses & net earnings from self-employment) and are taking care of at least one or two minor children. In certain cases, a taxpayer with low earned income and no children may also qualify.For more information and to see if you qualify visit this site.
A Network For Families: here you can find Professionals Supporting Parents, Children & Youth With Special Needs.
Martha’s Vineyard Mediation Program (MVMP) is a court-approved mediation program approved by the Commonwealth to handle cases referred by the District Court, Probate and Family Court, and the Superior Court on the Island. For Landlord, Tenants, Business owners and more.
IRS-approved volunteer tax preparation services may be available in your community. To find a site near you, you may call 1-800-829-1040 or visit:
In cooperation with faith based organizations they provide recycled household goods for individuals and families in need. Furnishings, pots, pans and small appliances can be donated as well as received. In order to learn more about this agency and the service they provide visit their website here:
If you qualify for the earned imcome tax credit you can get free tax assistance at CTI in Lowell. For more information and contacts please visit this link.
This site by the Federal Government offers the reader up to date info on new tax laws and regulations.
To help people get a jump on their taxes before filing season opens, the Internal Revenue Service announced the immediate availability of Free File brand-name software for most taxpayers.
Affordable phone service help! The Lifeline and Link-Up programs are available to qualifying consumers in every state, territory, and commonwealth. Eligibility criteria vary by state. States that have their own Lifeline program may have their own criteria.
The Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development's direct link to online unemployment services can be found here.
Martha’s Vineyard Community Services serves over 6,000 people every year. Reflecting the diversity of the Vineyard community, our clients are both impoverished and affluent and include families and individuals of all ages, races and ethnicities. - See more by following this link.
This list of links to Cities and Towns across the Commonwealth is provided by the Massachusetts Municipal Association's website.
This Christian ministry delivers essential furniture and food free of charge to those in need. For more information visit the website here:
This site provides MA consumers with links to governmnet benefits programs. These programs include emergency assistance, education, heating assistance, food programs and much more.
Pro Home’s mission is to provide education to homeowners and tenants, advocate for affordable housing for all,prevent homelessness and eliminate housing discrimination. To learn about their educational workshops follow this link:
This program connects people in crisis with the social services and support networks that surround them – The Lifeline Program is a federal program that provides a monthly discount on landline or wireless phone service to eligible low-income households. The Lifeline discount can lower or eliminate the cost of your monthly phone bills.
The Merrimack Valley Small Business Center provides entrepreneurs from ethnically and economically diverse groups with the education, tools, and resources needed to create, sustain, and grow viable small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures.
We provide services to our community from credit counseling, taxpayer assistance, housing counseling, early education, veterans programs to weatherization assistance. For more information please visit our website.
Going back to work after a health related absence can affect your benefits.The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs. This is mainly for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities.
2017 Tax season refund questions and answers.
The Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID) was founded in 1994 in a plan to provide comprehensive economic development programs and services to alleviate poverty and advance civic participation in the Fields Corner Vietnamese community of Dorchester. To learn about their services follow this link.

Health and Safety

We support the health and wellness of our Island community by connecting you to information and services that have the power to transform the quality of your life.
The Cambridge public heath department provides this educational flyer for information on bed bugs: How to spot them and what to do if you have them in your home.
Consumer's guide to Massachusetts requirements for carbon monoxide alarms. This guide is presented by the Department of Fire Services and answers frequently asked questions about carbon monoxide poisoning and carbon monoxide alarms.
Important safety information for families using wood stoves to heat their homes. By the states fire Marshal's office.
This site provides information about lead, lead hazards, and gives you some simple steps to protect your family.
Comprehensive, integrated and compassionate counseling services that foster the well-being of our community. Helping you become your best you." Family and Children’s Services of Nantucket remains the only non-profit mental health agency and counseling center on Nantucket.
The Lexington program for toxic waste reduction can be found here. Disposal of hazardous waste is a large concern for our Communities and this page helps residents learn how to reduce the use of toxic/hazardous materials in their homes as well as where and when to dispose of them.
This flyer by the MA public Saftey office helps citizens of the commonwealth stay safe during the winter months.
Using a dryer seems easy, but every year familes are put at risk with dryer fires, this flyer gives you practical advice on the steps you need to take to avoid a fire.
This practical leaflet gives you information on how to remove and keep Mildew away from your living area. By UMASS outreach / Barnstable County extension program.
Information in spanish on lead issues in Massachusetts.
If you think your home has high levels of lead you should get your children tested. This booklet gives you guidance on the steps you can take on your own to protect your family when living in an older home where possible lead might be an issue. This pamphlet published by the EPA also offers advice on a healthy diet and other steps you can take to avoid lead exposure to your family.
Info for landlords, tenants,homeowners and new buyers: On this page you can type in an address and learn if the home has any issues concerning lead and get details on the possible lead violation, or if the property has lead compliance letter available.
This site has general information, legal documents, deleading information, and statistics regarding lead poisoning in Massachusetts.
The MA Deptartment of Energy and Environmental Affairs offers this site for information on hazardous household waste. Please find out here on what to do and where to dispose of hazardous waste across the state.
This site contains the guidelines for safe and sanitary housing established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Puntos Principales del Captulo II del Codigo Sanitario del Estado
This guide to lead hazards in your home was produced by the United States Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Learn how to identify lead hazards and how to minimize your risk of exposure.
Los calentadores y estufas a leña o carbón pueden brindarle más calor durante los fríos meses del invierno ¡si se las usa con el debido cuidado! PERO si los calentadores están en el lugar equivocado, pueden causar serios incendios,lesiones y hasta la muerte.
The office of the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal prepared this flyer to teach families about fire safety practices in their homes.
If you must use a space heater for heat, use it as safely as possible. This flyer provides you with many good safety tips.
Carbon Monoxide/winter safety flyer by the MA Department of Health and Human Services: Helps residents with safety tips for use at home as well as at the work place.

Health Care

Medicaid and CHIP provide no-cost or low-cost health coverage for eligible children in Massachusetts. Even if your children have been turned down in the past or you don’t know if they qualify, you may be able to get health coverage for them now. Check this link for more information.
Most adults in Massachusetts are required by law to carry health insurance. If you do not currently have any insurance this web based portal will guide you through the process of finding an insurance provider which will suit you best. This website is for Families,individuals,employers and insurance brokers alike.
This free resource is available to everyone simply dial 1-800-272-4232. The Help Line is here to answer your questions about health coverage in Massachusetts. We can tell you what free and lower- cost programs you may be eligible for, and help you apply with one quick and easy telephone call or online.
The only non-profit law firm in Massachusetts dedicated exclusively to health care access. Health Law Advocates provides free legal assistance to hundreds of Massachusetts families each year. Find programs that could be helpful to you and your family.
If you live on MV and have a hard time feeding your family, paying for prescriptions, or if you become ill without insurance, we can help you find assistance.
If you have no health insurance you might qualify for Mass Health. This links you to information on eligibility and how to apply for Mass Health medical benefits.
This site by ADA is designed specifically for children, it teaches them about the importance of good oral health habits through fun activities and programs.
The “Neighborhood Health Plan” offers families and individuals healthcare premiums depending on your income. To learn about qualifications and available plans check this website.
The Healthy Living Center provides participant workshops on managing chronic pain, diabetes and other chronic health issues for all of Massachusetts residents. Find out more information by visiting our page.

Housing Agencies

Action Inc. offers help with: Rent or mortgage assistance, Assistance with housing searches,move-in costs, Mediation in landlord / tenant disputes, subsidized housing and also emergency shelter. Visit this site for more information.
BCRHA provides the following services for all Berkshire County Residents: dispute resolution counseling, Tenant Landlord mediation services,legal and educational counseling, homelessness prevention, housing search assistance and much more. To learn about all available programs visit site.
CMHA operates many programs ranging from homelessness prevention to affordable homeownership and services for elder homeowners. CMHA is a member of the "Regional Housing Network of MA". More detailed information on our programs can be found here.
The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority serves as a resource for Islanders who rent, need a new rental, home owners or prospective home buyers as well as those working to create affordable housing opportunities.
The Gloucester Housing Authority formed in 1948 proudly promotes and provides help with adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity and a suitable living environment free of discrimination. They currently assist over 1300 households in the Cape Ann area through Public Housing, Rental Assistance, Homeownership and Resident Service programs.For details on their programs visit this site.
We develop housing, both for rental and home ownership. We administer rental assistance programs funded by local municipalities and we actively help families access resources and assistance from a variety of available resources.
Here you can find a list of all MA Housing Authorities and their contact information.
LHAND's mission is to assist low and moderate income families and individuals with safe and affordable housing. For information on all the programs they offer follow this link.
The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Housing Authority was created to provide safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing for tribal members. It is the intention of the Housing Authority to construct Elderly housing on MV. These homes are funded by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants.
Island Elderly Housing, Inc. (IEH), a 501(c)(3) corporation, is offering affordable rental housing on Martha's Vineyard. The founders of IEH were dedicated to fulfilling the need for affordable rental housing for the Island's elderly and disabled. Today, over 170 Vineyard residents call IEH their home.
The Nantucket Housing Office is a private, not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to create community housing opportunities for Nantucket.
We are dedicated to providing quality public housing for eligible tenants. We own and manage 2551 apartments within the City of New Bedford and also administer over 1800 housing subsidy vouchers for qualified tenants who can use them for rental assistance in the greater New Bedford area. For contact information check this website.
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) is entering its twenty-fourth year as a multi-service non-profit community development corporation (CDC). Initially focusing on East Boston we are now creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities and building safe and healthy neighborhoods for those most in need and others challenged by today’s housing market in the greater Boston area as well.
Regional Housing Network of MA (former MA Nonprofit Housing Association) consists of nine regional nonprofit housing agencies, all charitable, nonprofit, community based, public purpose agencies. These agencies are actively involved in collaborative efforts with an array of service providers to assist families across the state. Between them, they serve every city and town in Massachusetts.
Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) is dedicated to maintaining diversity and preserving affordability in Somerville by building and preserving housing, organizing for necessary policies and funding, and giving residents the financial skills they need to survive
For over 20years, The Housing Program of Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. has worked towards a wide range of housing opportunities for families, veterans, and homeless single adults. VOC currently owns and self-manages nine properties with different programs throughout the Holyoke and Chicopee area.

Housing News

The Boston Housing Authority provides News on housing opportunities for all at this location.
The Citizen's Housing and Planning Association provides a link to "News" and Action Alerts in our area.

Housing Search

Caritas is the largest non-profit owner and manager of permanent Veteran and Single Room occupancy housing in the greater Boston area.
Fannie Mae provides this database of foreclosed homes.This links you to homes available in Massachusetts.
Here you find the Commonwealth's most complete listing of affordable home lotteries. Published as a community service by the non-profit Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA), the site is designed to help low- to moderate-income home buyers find a home they can afford, and also educate them about the lottery and home buying process.
The City of Boston site offers information and assistance to Boston landlords and tenants.
Are you looking for affordable housing in Cambridge? The CDD Housing Division offers both rental and ownership opportunities, please follow this link for more information.
This links you to current affordable housing opportunities in the Newton and surrounding areas.
Use this free database to find affordable rental homes in the North Shore and Merrimack Valley area. This website was developed by Community Teamwork Inc. (CTI) as a free service for landlords and tenants.
Way Finders (formerly HAP Housing) manages properties throughout the Pioneer Valley, including housing for the elderly, those with disabilities, singles and families. This new link on their site offers a search engine to helps folks find current availabilities quickly and easily.
Mass Access maintains a database of accessible and affordable apartments. This database catalogs location of housing, rent level, bedroom size, adaptable or accessible features, vacancy status, amenities, and neighborhood features
This book provides information about searching for rental housing in Massachusetts for people who have one or more disabilities. Most of the information is also helpful to people who are low-income. This can help you understand what your housing options are and find housing that meets your needs.
If you are looking for housing in various areas in the South Eastern MA region this is the site you want to visit. Housing Solutions of South Eastern MA (Formerly South Shore Housing) is the leading housing agency for this area.
This helpful guide discusses options for housing assistance in Massachusetts from shelters to homeownership.
Unfortunately the need for affordable housing in MA is so great that Housing Agencies and owners of multifamily housing must keep waiting lists for applicants. Because these lists have gotten so long it is important that you know how that process works.This booklet was compiled by MassLegalHelp.org. it will give you information on how to increase your chances on lowering your waiting period.
LCW owns and manages 71 units in 9 separate buildings. Through our management company First Realty Corporation, LCW provides high quality and reliable management and maintenance for our tenants.Some of the available rental housing includes the following developments: Bradford apartments,Berkely Place,Farnham Court and Reviviendo Family Housing
The Community Development Partnership of the Lower Cape has affordable rental and homeownership options available for more information visit their website at this link.
Clubs offer comprehensive and dynamic supports and services 5-6 days each week to members by combining employment, housing, and education services with social activities, life skills, wellness initiatives, arts-based rehabilitation and advocacy for people recovering from psychiatric conditions.
Community Action Agencies are non-profit human service agencies who provide emergency assistance to people in crisis.They offer help in finding housing, education, job training,unemployment as well as education on healthy nutrition.
Madison Park Development Corporation's produces affordable housing for low and moderate income families in Roxbury. Here you can find information on affordable multifamily rental housing in the Roxbury area.
Maloney Propertries Inc: is a full service property management company founded in 1981, they offer residential housing untis all over massachusetts. Their site will give you information on affordable rentals, sales and cooperative Family housing, senior housing and housing for people living with disabilities. Allston Brighton CDC has developed 379 units which are now managed by Maloney Properties.
The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership offers this list of available housing to all seeking housing in the Greater Boston area.
The AIDS housing directory for New England has information on single and scattered-site, permanent and transitional supportive housing programs for people living with HIV/AIDS in MA,CT,NH,MA,VT & RI. This is an excellent reference for consumers, case managers, client advocates, program planners as well as funders.
Twin City Community Development Corporation also known as New Vue Communities of Fitchburg & Leominster is a membership organization who has spent the past 26 years working with city government and community residents to revitalize distressed neighborhoods by developing affordable and stable housing in this area of MA. For detailed information on their programs follow this link:
The PACE Housing Services Program assists families and individuals who are searching for affordable housing or who have other housing needs.
Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is a nonprofit developer, owner and operator of nearly 9,000 affordable homes in 9 states and the District of Columbia. Our primary mission is to preserve, create and sustain affordable, healthy homes that support economic security and access to opportunity for all. For housing search follow this link:
A range of housing options are available specifically to people living with HIV/AIDS including a total of 35 permanent supportive housing vouchers, congregate and scattered site housing units throughout Cape Cod and the Islands funded through the following U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Shelter Plus Care programs.
Affordable Rental Units QCAP currently owns and manages 49 units of affordable housing in Quincy and Weymouth. Our rental units include single rooms and one and two bedroom apartments. They are offered at below market rates.
RCAP solution keeps a list of available rental housing. This handy tool will help all users find available listings of rentals including contact names, phone numbers and dates posted. Keep in mind that these homes have not been inspected or approved by RCAP Solution. Once you locate an available home and you have a rental voucher you will still have to follow the usual Voucher lease up process.
The Housing list by Mass Housing contains detailed information on properties across the state who are financed or overseen by MassHousing.
If you are a pet owner and worry about loosing your pet in case of an impending move, this site by the Humane society offers you many resources including apartment search info and help with ways to approach your landlord about keeping your pet. This is also a valuable resource for property managers and Landlords who seek help with the issue of pets during a tenanc

Housing Vouchers

HUD's 2017 AMI's for Massachusetts can be found on pages 98 & 99 following this link.
Massachusetts Fair Market Rents can be found here: Once on this page pick your Geography by scrolling down on the menu, select "Massachusetts" then click the button for Statewide FMR's this will get you the current FMR's for your specific area.
Information every tenant with a voucher needs to know about their CORI (Criminal Offender record information).
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program is a voluntary five-year program for families with Section 8 vouchers. The program helps families become financially independent. Program particiants set financial,educational and career goals over a certain time period. Sucessful graduates can save for down payments on a home,small businesses as well as education for them or their children.
The company's core mission is to help Americans living in poverty. We provide free information about current housing options under HUD's Section 8 Housing Voucher (Section 8) Program in every market in the country.
Housing choice vouchers allow very low- income families to choose and lease or purchase safe, decent, and affordable privately-owned rental housing. For detailed information on this program follow this link.
The Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), formerly known as the Chapter 707 Program, provides a permanent improvement in the lives of low-income families and individuals by offering both tenant- and project-based rental subsidies.
You live in Public Housing and you are currently out of work. When you start working again you need to know how this will affect your rent payment. The institute for community inclusion created this site for you to learn how and when your rent payment will increase.
Beginning January 6, 2003, the Massachusetts chapter of NAHRO opened a new centralized waiting list. Massachusetts housing authorities utilize this one computerized list; all applicant information entered onto this list can be accessed and updated by any and all participating housing authorities. Waiting list information is secure and accessed only by authorized housing authority staff with special login codes. The Massachusetts Centralized Section 8 Waiting List will remain open indefinitely. Following this link also gives you information on how to check on your status on this list.
HUD provides Section 8 rental vouchers and certificates to Public housing authorities (PHAs) that have approved plans to designate certain housing as elderly-only, disabled-only, or mixed elderly and disabled households to enable persons with disabilities to rent affordable housing. Check with your local Housing Authority for help in your area.
Easy to understand guide to the Section 8 rental assistance program. Includes an overview of the Section 8 program, eligibility requirements, etc. Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.of Boston MA created this document.
New improved site for: The MA Shelter Plus Care Program provides rental assistance linked with support services to homeless individuals and families with disabilities. Find out how it works and who is eligible. November 2011.

Legal Advice & Information

This 22-page booklet prepared by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute answers questions about the eviction storage law. Updated February 5, 2013. Learn how to protect your belongings if you are facing eviction.
Community Legal Aid, Inc. (CLA) provides free civil legal services to low-income and elderly residents of central and western Massachusetts. (Former Live Justice)
At Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), our team of 72 attorneys and 25 paralegals provide free civil (non-criminal) legal assistance to low income individuals and families in and around Boston. We’re here to help you access important services and benefits that protect you and your loved ones.
Our Eviction Clinic offers counseling and education to Springfield residents at risk of being evicted from their homes. Our counselor serves as a mediator between the tenant and the landlord. The program offers one-on-one assistance to residents preparing for Hampden County Housing Court hearings. The goal is to ensure tenants know, understand and exercise their rights.
Find a listing of the Legal Services Programs in your area as well as a link to articles in Spanish, Khmer, Russian, and Vietnamese.
Tenants need to know that if their landlord stops paying his/her mortgage and the BANK starts foreclosure proceedings the BANK now becomes the new owner. This link provides you with information on your rights and responsibilities. For the most part there should not be many changes to the landlord-tenant relationship, but it is better to be informed.
Deciding on elder care can be an uncertain time for many folks. Elders and their family caregivers often face a mix of legal and financial difficulties on a daily basis. Be sure to make informed decisions by understanding the decisional capacity of your family member and your legal authority as a caregiver.
This Lawyer Referral Service is a non-profit public service of the Boston Bar Association designed to provide you with an impartial referral to an attorney in your city or town. Be aware that lawyers referrals on this site do not provide free law services.
This Forum welcomes you to a collection of frequently asked questions and answers about MA Landlord and Tenant Law. For additional help with landlord and tenant law issues or problems, check out our Mass Law Links and Books About MA Law pages.
If you experience trouble in getting your security deposit back from your landlord, you have the option to file a suit through small claims court. Small claims lawsuits are limited to $2,000. You can go to small claims court if your security deposit was $2,000 or less.
This is an excellent resource by the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries. You will find links to forms used during an eviction case and answers to frequently asked questions regarding tenant and landlord law.
This service, provided by HUD, enables tenants of HUD insured and assisted properties to field complaints on poor maintenance,dangers to health and safety as well as mismanagement and fraud.
If you need legal advice of any kind you should visit this website by the "National Consumer Law Center" Landlords and tenants alike can find information on many topics, from foreclosure and bankruptcy help to student loans and much more.
Propietarios de vivienda de Massachusetts: ¡obtengan ayuda para salvar su vivienda!
This document provides you with important information regarding security deposits and last months rent laws in Massachusetts for varied tenancy situations including section 8. This is a document by Masslegal help.
A security deposit remains the property of the tenant until a landlord is authorized to use it. Therefore, a landlord is required to keep a tenant’s security deposit in a separate, interest-bearing bank account in Massachusetts. Each account must also be clearly identified as containing funds that do not belong to the landlord and are being held in trust (escrow) for the tenant.
The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs "Tenant Rights and Responsbilities" page contains useful information about finding an apartment, entering into a rent agreement, and types of tenancies. This information is written in the following languages: Enlish, Portugese, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Chinese.

Military

The SCRA provides a wide range of protections for individuals entering the call to active duty in the military. This Act is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations service members might experience. This will enable the service member to instead devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on their families.

Mobile Home Communities

To learn about a number of very important rights for Mobile home park tenants in Massachusetts follow this link provided by Mass Legal Help.

Money and Credit

Every credit card customer should check their credit score regularly. If your credit is not stellar this link to the Federal Reserve Board offers you 5 tips on how to improve your credit score.
ABCD’s Financial Futures Initiative helps low-income households permanently escape poverty by building assets through home ownership, savings, higher education and entrepreneurship. This initiative currently includes an Individual Development Account (IDA) program with matched savings accounts to help low-income workers save for and purchase a home.
Opening a bank account is a big step because you are putting your money in someone else’shands. You’re counting on someone else to handle your money responsibly. Before you do that, it might be a good idea to understand how banks operate. That’s the purpose of this pamphlet. It won’t tell you everything there is to know about banks and banking, but we hope it will be a good basic introduction.
Budget Buddies offers a comprehensive program of financial education that tailors assistance to each participant’s needs in a highly practical and sustainable way. Low-income women — who typically have limited, if any, access to the financial advisors available to higher-income households — get personalized help with the specific financial issues that keep them from overcoming poverty. These issues may include heavy debt, problems with the IRS, or poor consumer habits.
This is a guide to securing your financial future, this booklet was prepared by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
If you have been using check cashing service for your weekly pay check you should read this info by mass legal help. It will most likely cost you less every year if you have a checking account with your local bank instead.
Una guia para alcanzar sus metas fiancieras, con Federal Reserve Bank.
Compass is a nonprofit organization that helps working, low-income families save toward a first-time home, a college education, or a small business. We provide financial education and matched savings accounts to help families achieve their goals.
The federal trade commission created this guide for the consumer to understand debt collection and consumers rights, when a debt collector is making false statements and what can be done about it, this links you to all that information.
Do you want to learn how to save, invest and manage your money better? Use this website by the U.S. government if you are planning to buy a home, balance your checkbook,invest in your 401K or if you just want to have better control over your finances
Everyone should check their credit annually. It is best to always be informed about your credit status, in order to avoid financial trouble and possible credit fraud. To get your annual free credit report follow this link.
Money Savings Tips and suggestions written specifically for teens on how to save, spend, borrow, and protect money for your future.
If you are thinking about signing a contract with your oil dealer in order to get the best deal for your family you should first consult this flyer for guidance on how to proceed and work with your oil heat supplier. This flyer also suggests other possible money saving options for you including contacts to your local oil cooperatives.
Emergencies often happen without warning, but how you prepare for them can prevent them from turning into true disasters for you and your family. Key among those preparations—yet probably the most frequently overlooked—is organizing your financial first-aid kit.
Teaching your preschooler good money and saving habits. Boston’s citywide movement to ensure children from families of all races, ethnicities, incomes, abilities, and languages have the opportunities and support they need for success in school and beyond

Natural Disaster Help

FEMA provides the following tips for dealing with the after effects from floods. How to clean up and dry out your home or its understructure. This will help you avoid serious mold problems and keep you and your family safe and healthy.
A Disaster Recovery Center is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to your case.
This link to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has a summary page of recovery resources and preventative measures as well as links to pertinent Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) websites and publications regarding flooding.
An application for SNAP replacement benefits due to household misfortunes like: power loss, fire,flood and other disasters can be found here. The loss has to be reported within 10 days of the disaster to qualify.
Information on how to prepare your home and keep your families safe in case of serious storm or weather situations. This site is provided by the Community Sanitation Program of the MA Dept. of Public Health
This site offers emergency and disaster information to all MA residents. It includes information on a variety of disasters including floods, storms and health emergencies.

Services for the Homeless

This site will let you search for community health Care centers across Massachusetts.
HomeBase Household Assistance is a flexible financial resource that is available to families who are eligible for the state’s Emergency Assistance (EA) Program. Up to $4,000 of Household Assistance can be used to help you and your family with finding a new apartment,pay for moving expenses,or help with child care and securing employment.
Information on the MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education’s child nutrition outreach program can be found here.

Substance abuse

Alcoholics Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. You can find times and places of local A.A. meetings or events by contacting a nearby central office.
Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS), works to ensure the delivery of the highest quality, culturally-competent, cost-effective array of alcohol and other drug prevention, treatment, recovery services to individuals and HIV education and prevention programs for families and communities in Massachusetts.
Habit OPCO is a Substance Abuse Treatment organization that provides outpatient services to communities in need in a manner which respects an individual's worth and recognizes their desire to improve the quality of their lives.
We have placed this website on the Internet as one of the gateways to the "experience,strength and hope" available to any addict seeking recovery. It contains information for addicts and professionals about Narcotics Anonymous in the New England Region of NA.
To locate a needle and syringe exchange program in your area follow this link.
Harm Reduction Services at Tapestry work as an HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C (HCV) prevention and education program that works with out-of-treatment drug users in Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties to create a personal plan with individuals to minimize the health risks of injections drug use.
Victory Programs promotes the successful reintegration of individuals into their communities through the achievement of long-term sobriety, the rebuilding of family systems, and the accessing of such stabilizing factors as housing, holistic health care, employment and community affiliations.

Tenancy Info and Advice

Mass Legal help outlines the correct ways to end a tenancy. It covers giving proper notice to the landlord about your plan to move. You should use this information for guidance during your preparations to move.
If you are a pet owner and you are looking for a new place to live with your pet, this page may help you negotiate a rental agreement with your Landlord which will be fair to both sides. This site includes information for the elderly & disabled pet owners as well as public housing and condominium regulations regarding pets.
General & legal information on renting a place with others (co-tenants). How to get permission from landlord and other helpful information can be found here.
Whether you are a tenant, landlord, property manager or housing professional: When housing problems happen, things can go from bad to worse, and quickly, if not handled well. To avoid evictions and/or homelessness, Just-A-Start (JAS) professionals mediate and help resolve disputes between tenants, landlords, homeowners, and others by creating a safe, neutral forum in which meaningful dialogue can occur.
This link gets you direct access to application paperwork for public housing available in varied languges.
Mass general law requires that relocation payments and assistance be provided for tenants displaced from their homes as a result of a real estate acquisition by a state, local or private entity.This includes any occupant who moves from real property, or moves personal property, as a direct result of rehabilitation or demolition.
What you should know about renters insurance in general and how to find the right coverage.
This is a homelessness prevention program. TPP works with tenants, including families with children with disabilities, facing eviction as a result of behavior related to a disability (e.g. mental illness, mental retardation, substance abuse, aging related impairments). TPP functions as a neutral party to the landlord and tenant. In consultation with the Housing Court Department, TPP works with the property owner and tenant to determine whether the disability can be reasonably accommodated and the tenancy preserved
WATCH supports tenants who are working to find or keep a decent apartment and those who are looking to buy a home. While WATCH does not currently offer a regular program for landlords, our Tenant Clinic staff will sit down with any landlord to review the laws and ensure you are informed on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. Just call the Tenant Clinic Hotline to ask a question or make an appointment.
A law in Massachusetts allows landlords to bill tenants, who are starting new tenancies, directly for their water consumption if the property meets the requirements for submetering and water conservation. This booklet answers basic questions about landlords’ and tenants’ rights and responsibilities under this new law. Prepared by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.
Massachusetts info for tenants who live in apartments/housing where the Landlord is facing foreclosure.
A Know Your Rights Guide for Public Housing Tenants in Massachusetts, provided by "MassLegalhelp".

Transportation

This agency works on finding quality donated cars in Massachusetts to help families with lower incomes find reliable transportation. If you want to donate a car this is the site to consult and to find contact information for. If you are in need of a car this is the site where you can apply for a car.
MassRIDES is the Massachusetts statewide travel options program, helping you move smarter with information about carpooling, bicycling, walking, public transportation, teleworking, and vanpooling
Massachusetts Bay transit authority. Info on subway,bus and train transportation in and around Boston.

Utility Assistance and Information

New Fiscal year 2017 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) also known as Fuel Assistance Program income charts.
Serving the energy needs of western Massachusetts for over 150 years, they offer payment assistance programs, energy efficiency programs and savings tips;
Eligible low-income customers may qualify for forgiveness of a past due bill up to $ 3,000.00, to find out more about this and other assistance programs check this link by Berkshire gas.
Cape & Island Self Reliance,is a membership cooperative in southeastern Massachusetts. As an independent, objective authority, Self-Reliance helps members navigate energy choices and empowers them to make decisions and take actions that save money, increase comfort and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Cape Light Compact is a nationally recognized award-winning energy services organization operated by the 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact’s mission is to serve its 200,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy and renewable competitive electricity supply. To find out more information and to schedule an energy audit follow this link.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) better known as Fuel Assistance is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), This program assists low- income individuals and families with the cost of heating their homes during the winter season.
Columbia Gas Company is one of the largest natural gas utilities in New England, serving more than 300,000 customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. They offer customers discounts on weatherization work, rebates for more efficient heating systems. They also partner with local community action agencies to offer free weatherization services to income eligible families.
A competitive retail electricity supplier in Massachusetts has agreed to pay $4 million to settle allegations of deceptive marketing and sales that promised savings but charged significantly higher rates, entered consumers into agreements without their consent, and charged costly termination fees, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. Important to read.
For lower income Eversource customers this links you to financial assistance information. Here you can find out about discounted rates and much more.
Information on energy efficient programs and insentives, financial assistance, gas heating programs, account management and much more.
The Fuel Assistance or Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) site by the MA Government provides you with general program information. This program helps eligible families with funds towards their heating costs and energy savings installations.
This federal program is administered by a network of local agencies.In most areas by the same agency that administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP or Fuel Assistance). See the “How to Apply” link to contact your local agency. HEARTWAP contracts with heating system service companies to complete the work for eligible households.
HG&E is a municipally owned utility company that provides electricity, natural gas and much more services to over 18,000 customers.This link gives you info on residential energy conservation program and 0% 5 year loans for conservation home improvemet projects.
If you receive electric or gas from a utility company that is regulated and you qualify financially, you are eligible for a discount on your utility bill. Local telephone companies also offer discounts (called “Lifeline” and “Linkup”) to customers who qualify financially.
Joe Kennedy's "Citizens Energy" non profit agency helps Massachusetts residents who are struggling to stay warm during the winter pay for heating oil deliveries.Citizens Energy also offers consumers valuable energy saving tips. They even help pay a portion of the heating bills for homeless shelters.
Here you find varied LIHEAP information: local agencies contact information, funding, eligibility, program dates, statistics and information on the program's legislative history.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. We provide federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with: Home energy bills, Energy crises, Weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs. Follow this link for information on this program.
Information on Fuel Assistance and other energy related programs for Massachusetts can be found here.
The Massachusetts consumer alliance provides this site for consumers who want to learn more about green energy generation and power purchase options for them.
Keep Warm and safe this Winter programs:This info describes shut off protection regulations for utility companies, how to avoid heating fires and other practical advice for residents on how to stay warm and safe during the winter months.
The MA Department of Public Utilities has important information for consumers when shopping for competitive electric supply products.
The Mass Save site provides you with details on Home Energy Assessments, available rebates for installing energy saving measures and more.
Welcome to the newly redesigned website for the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, formerly the Massachusetts Oilheat Council. The association’s name change reflects the diversity of fuels and services now being offered by members including heating oil, ultra- low sulfur diesel fuel, renewable BIOHEAT, propane, solar, commercial natural gas and electricity, high-efficiency heating equipment installation and repair, and energy efficiency audits.
National Grid (Electric) customer information on your electric rate.If you are a residential customer and meet the requirements listed here then you may be eligible for a discount on your monthly electric bill. This will save you money and will not affect the service you currently receive.
You might be eligible for a lower gas rate! ~ 25 % lower costs to you per month. It takes up to 8 weeks for the paperwork to be verified and processed. Four convenience we added this link so you can print out an application, fill it out and send it in together with all necessary documentation.
This links you to eligibility information for N-Grid Electric customers in MA.The information is in english and spanish. This also includes an actual application and information on where to send it.
Information on pricing,savings and other natural gas service tips can be found here.
If you heat with propane this document will help you understand what propane is, where it comes from, what affects the pricing in the market and how you can save and reduce your heating budget.
If you are the recipient of the discount electrical rate you are eligible for an electrical energy audit. A SMOC energy manager will review your electric usage and if you are determined to be a high user you might qualify for an energy star refrigerator in order for you to lower your usage. For more information check this page.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps people in need pay for their winter heating fuel and other energy bills. The Fund is for people who are facing a short-term financial crisis and do not qualify for other fuel assistance programs. This program is a joint effort between the gas and electric utility companies and The Salvation Army.
The 1997 Electric Restructuring Act substantially changed the way the Massachusetts electric utility industry is structured. To understand your electric bills, it is helpful to know these energy terms:
Unitil provides retail electric and natural gas service to customers in north-central Massachusetts. Electric service is provided to all or portions of the communities of Fitchburg, Townsend, Lunenburg and Ashby, and gas service to customers in the communities of Fitchburg, Townsend, Lunenburg, Ashby, Westminster and Gardner.
N-Star, Eversource, utility arrearage forgiveness program flyers provided by ABCD Boston.
This is a link to the MA Attorney General's page on utility shut off help and home heating information.If you are currently facing a utility shut-off, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400.
If you are an income eligible customers of Western Massachusetts Electric customer you may qualify for a special discount rate, for your convenience we added this direct link to the application paperwork.
Western Massachusetts Electric Company, commonly known as WMECO, is a main distributor of electricity in western Massachusetts, serving more than 200,000 customers. Regardless of whether you rent or own your home, we have bundled all the information you need right here in one easy-to-find place!
As winter approaches tenants once again face the problem of getting inadequate heat, this links you to information that can help you understand the law in Massachusetts your Landlord has to follow.Information provided by Attorney Ross.

Veterans

Under Chapter 115 of the MA general laws (M.G.L.ch.115) the Commonwealth provide a program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependants.
Homeward Vets, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization that helps to provide home furnishings to previously homeless Veterans who are transitioning into permanent housing.
The Mass Broadband Institute offers this new site for Veterans, their families and Service providers to use as a "clearinghouse" for services and programs that provide help for Veterans and their families throughout the Commonlwealth.
Nathan Hale veterans outreach center in Plymouth and Middleboro: Offers help with, transportation to and from medical appointments, day outings, employment services, internet skill classes, food pantry, housing, counseling and much more. For more information and contact follow this link:
Besides basic shelter the New England Center for Homeless Veterans offers: job training, educational tools & help in reaching the goal of permanent housing and independent living for all. This is a substance-free shelter and is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, serving men and women veterans.
There is little permanent housing for veterans run by veterans. The Department of Veterans Services has this site with contact information for-Veteran Supported permanent housing which includes:
If you are a homeless veterans with a severe psychiatric and /or substance abuse disorder you may be eligible for the Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) Program. The program provides a rental housing voucher from HUD combined with on-going case management services.
We support three facilities in central Massachusetts: The Veteran Hospice, The Hero's Homestead and The Armistice Homestead. We also have a Mobile Medical Unit that canvases central Massachusetts and New Hampshire, providing health screenings for veterans. The newest project in the works is: The Veterans Victory Farm, a working farm for veterans with emotional or physical problems. This will be a place of health and healing, as are all of the Hospice homes.
The new and improved Department of Veterans' Services website: provides information on state and federal benefits, including details about where and how to apply. State benefits include public assistance for indigent veterans and tuition waivers at state colleges and universities. The resources on the site also include outreach and counseling centers, employment and training, information for women veterans and housing options. Updated website November 2011.