Resources

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

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 low rates being offered in your utility 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

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.
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!
2015-2016 brochure on three 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
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 voluntary 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. It is a joint effort between the gas and electric utility companies and The Salvation Army.
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.
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, and reduce your carbon footprint. MassCEC has announced a $30 million commitment to these technologies through 2020.
The HEAT Loan Program provides customers with no-interest and low- interest loans (up to 3%) to assist them with the installation of qualified energy efficient improvements in their homes. The loans are available up-to $10,000 with terms up-to 7 years. To apply for the loan, you must own and reside in a one to four family residence and obtain a Home Energy Assessment through the MassSAVE Program.
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 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.
The New England Extension programs are educating citizens on how to test and adequately treat their private well water as well as how to assess and prevent water quality contamination around their homes.
Homeowners who are concerned about Radon in their home can check this site for info on radon levels in their county. This site also provides you with links to Radon mitigaton services and much more.
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. It is unfortunate that some people continue to fall victim to these types of lenders and it is very important to be able to spot the warning signs. 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 mortgage limits for your area or several areas. It 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 by the Obama Administration is designed to help struggling Home Owners, who due to loss of income/job or delinquency or close to becoming delinquent on thier loans to lower their monthly payments by restructuring their loans so they can again make payments and thus avoid foreclosure. Current loans have to have originated before January 1, 2009.
Important Home Improvement Loan information by the FDIC: Think twice about using your home as collateral. Learn how to avoid a bad lender and much more:check this page for important information.
If you are thinking of re-financing your home but you don't have perfect credit you need to be very careful of any creative financing deals offered to you. This site will give you good tips an what to look out for and what offers are scams you should stay away from.
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. MassHousing relies on private non-profit and for-profit developers to construct and operate the rental housing that we finance, and on 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.
The Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell MA offers foreclosure counseling services in collaboration with Community Teamwork Inc. For more information and to sign up visit this website by following this link.
This site by Neighborhood works is for all those families who are behind on their mortgage. Being more knowledgeable could avoid foreclosure by acting quickly and reaching out to your lender or a reputable nonprofit. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
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 following this link and website by the humane society: list includes help with emergency veterinary medical care
If foreclosure seems imminent and you are having trouble affording your pet you can find financial help following this link and website by the humane society: list includes help with emergency veterinary medical care
This booklet has tips for distressed home owners on how to recognize and avoid foreclosure rescue scams, provide by the MA attorney generals office.
Homeowner Assistance Program expanded for certain eliible service members and their families: This program is to assist eligible homeowners who face financial loss when selling their primary residence homes in areas where real estate values have declined because of a base closure or realignment announcement. For more indepth informaiton follow this link
This site by Freddie Max provides you with important reminders on your obligations as a home owner in regards to your mortgage payments and other financial responsibilities.
The goal of the Attorney General’s HomeCorps is to mitigate future impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts 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!
If your primary residence was involved in a foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, you may qualify for a free Independent Foreclosure Review. The Independent Foreclosure Review will determine whether individual homeowners suffered financial injury and should receive compensation or other remedy because of errors or other problems during their home foreclosure process. To apply for help follow this link.
MA Foreclosure relief program 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
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.
The Western Massachusetts Foreclosure Prevention Center's counselors are experts in foreclosure prevention and trained to set up a plan of action designed for you and your situation. They don't just offer general advice - they help you take action. Counselors will arm you with education and support that assists you in overcoming immediate financial issues... at no cost to you.

Forms and Letters

In preparation for a possible refinancing of a home, use this page to calculate your costs ahead of time. This sample page by HUD summarizes all the costs and adjustments for the borrower and seller.
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).

General Information

This site by the BBB will help you with the necessary research if you are in the process of working with a business you are not familiar with or have suspisions of imporper practices for.
If you are a developer or just an interested citizen, this fact sheet gives you detailed information on the chapter 40B process and the zoning laws and possible subsidies involved.
Helps citizens connect to the many state agencies to seek information on programs and/or to seek assistance or redress with the government offices that interact with citizens.
Information on buying or building a home, resources for renter, help for businesses, home improvements plus special help for senior homeowners. This Brochure is published by the City of Boston, Mayor Menino and the Department of Neighborhood Development's.
The federal trade commission created this guide for the consumer to understand debt collection and what your rights are, when a debt collector is making false statements and what you can do about this.
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 as well as 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 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.
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 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

This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth.
This guide by “Energy Star” provides the consumer with information on how Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs work, how to safely install and dispose of them and much more, please visit this site:
This document by the US 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.
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 2011.
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
When remodeling your home where lead paint may be present use this field guide provided by HUD to find information on how to work safely and protect you and your family.
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 the State by following this link.
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. Here Home Owners can learn how to protect their property from an oil leak in their home.
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 is a checklist every home owner should use in order to stay on top of 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.
HomeSafe℠ is MAHA's homeowner resource center and it includes Homeowner 201 and Condo Owner 202, free workshops to help make your home or condo safe from unnecessary repairs, crime, fire, landlord/tenant disputes, lead paint, and foreclosure. In addition, graduates will learn about HomeSafe discounts, grants, low interest loans and other resources available to homeowners.
Information every home owner with a septic sysetm should know is provided for the reader at this link by the EPA.
Heating systems are usually trouble-free and easy to maintain. Efficient operation is a function of good regular maintenance. There are things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition. In this article,site by "HOW STUFF WORKS" tells you how to service and troubleshoot 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 adive for all homeowners suggesting ways to lower costs for home maintenance & home improvements. You can 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 un necessary and costly repairs.
If you are a Massachusetts Home Owner with a septic system or cesspool and have plans to put it up for sale, add a bedroom or convert it to a different use, you will need to have your system inspected - and possibly fixed or replaced. This information is intended to help you make the right decisions about who to hire and how to finance repairs if they are necessary.
Eligible Yarmouth Homeowners who are in a financial bind can now receive help with septic pumping costs. For details on this program you can find an application and info here.

Home Repair and Improvement

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.
Nh»ng NgÜ©i ñánh Bóng Sàn Nhà B¢ng G‡ ñã BÎ Ch‰t Khi Sän PhÄm ñánh Bóng Sàn Nhà BÓc Cháy- Ÿ Ti‹u Bang Massachusetts.
HeatWorks is offered by the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) in partnership with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and Renew Boston (RB). Grants up to $5,000 and or 0% interest deferred loans for: Replacement of old and inefficient Heating systems, energy audits and weatherization.
This program is funded by the City's Community Development Block Grant program. It provides financial assistance to new eligible applicants with physical disabilities to assist them with the removal and/or alteration of architectural barriers to make their New Bedford home handicap accessible.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program LIHEAP).Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), LIHEAP assists low-income individuals and families with the cost of heating their homes during the winter season. The Program is managed by the DHCD in conjunction with 22 regional nonprofit and local government organizations. To learn about how this program might benefit you follow this link.
They coordinates 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. If you live in that area you might want to consult with this website for program and contact information
EcoBuilding Bargain's mission is 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.
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, MA. 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
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 resident homeowners of one- to four-family houses in our target areas of Cambridge.
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.
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 scam, and the consumer protections in the Cooling Off Rule.
This site by the government of MA provides the consumer with 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 HEAT Loan Program provides customers with no-interest and low- interest loans (up to 3%) to assist them with the installation of qualified energy efficient improvements in their homes. The loans are available up-to $10,000 with terms up-to 7 years. To apply for the loan, you must own and reside in a one to four family residence and obtain a Home Energy Assessment through the MassSAVE Program.
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 and 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 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.
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 applicant must demonstrate that there is no other financing source for the critical repair. Examples of eligible repairs include: possible collapse of a section of the roof, imminent failure of the heating system, electrical or plumbing system etc. The maximum loan amount will be $5,000.00.
Rural Housing Home Repair Loans and grants "Fact sheet" by the federal Government.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. This loan is a 1% loan that may be repaid over a 20-year period. 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 findresources on weatherizing your home and 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 will provide you with necessary information you need when deciding on insurance coverage for your home.
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.
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 homeowners insurance section of the I.I.I. Web site can help you make the right choices about this important form of protection for you and your family
A website that provides consumers with extensive information about flood preparedness and flood insurance.
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding
This site helps the consumer with information on insurance agents in their area in massachusetts.
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. MPIUA offers policies under the Homeowners, Dwelling Fire and Commercial Property programs as approved by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.
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.

Manufactured Housing

This practical guide by the University of Montana extension program offers mobile home owners in cold climates practical tips on most effective conservation measures and improvements that will help keep you warmer and use less fuel in the coming winter months.
MA Chapter 140 Licenses, Mobile Home Parks general laws.
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 was prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency contains information and tips on preparing for weather and other possible emergency events that could affect us all throughout the year.
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 in your home. This booklet is prepared for the consumer by the EPA
A guide developed to help homeowners and contractors safely clean up homes damaged in the recent floods caused by Hurricane Irene is available immediately. Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-up of Flooded Homes 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. Agencies working directly with individuals impacted by the floods can also order a shipment of printed booklets to distribute to those needing assistance. Please call the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) at 877.312.3046 for more information.
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.
Keeping your pet during tough economic times can become a challenge. This volunteer non profit pet boutique on Cape Cod can offer you solutions and help. They provide pet families in need with food, pet supplies and other helpful information. In return all you have to do is volunteer your time. For more information on this organization visit their website.
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

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. Exemptions are conferred by the Legislature on particular categories of persons or property.
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. This Pdf form will give more detailed and current tax information as well as necessary contact numbers.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides Veterans and their families with this detailed information on property tax exemptions.
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

The Gas Networks website overview of available rebates is for consumers who are interested in installing energy efficient, heating systems, windows, thermostat as well as information on energy audits for consumers of varied income levels.
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 lightbulbs with new and more energy efficient ones. Plus there will most likely be a financial reward for doing so. The Mass Save website helps you find lighting and appliance incentives throughout MA just follow this link and search for info 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.
On March 16, 2005, a new law went into effect in Massachusetts that allows landlords to bill tenants starting new tenancies directly for water if the property meets the law’s 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

You can make a positive impact at the personal, local and global levels by taking small steps to go green in your own life. CET started the Go Green initiative in 2011 to support residents to take 10,000 household actions in three years - because individual actions when combined with others in your community, add up.
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.
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 HEAT Loan Program provides customers with no-interest and low- interest loans (up to 3%) to assist them with the installation of qualified energy efficient improvements in their homes. The loans are available up-to $25,000 with terms up-to 7 years. To apply for the loan, one must own and reside in a one to four family residence and obtain a Home Energy Assessment through the MassSAVE Program.
The Weatherization Assistance Program, helps low-income households reduce their heating bills by providing home energy efficiency services.
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. This links you to the State's updated webpage October 2011.
ATTENTION: NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT RULES IN EFFECT PER OCT 1, 2010. 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. This information helps property owners,developers, architects and others engage in proper non discriminating practices against people with disabilities when during and before construction of new or retrofit housing.
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 the Home Owner for help with mold and mildew in and around the home. This site is very helpful for flood victim's as well home owners who live in humid climats.
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.
Removing lead paint from a home is often a costly and difficult undertaking.Mill Cities Community Investment's "Get the Lead Out Program" provides low-cost financing to owners of 1-4 family homes to remove lead paint and reduce the threat of lead paint poisoning in children.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has prepared consumer information to help you understand what mold is, how it can grow in your home, and the routine maintenance procedures you can follow to prevent mold problems, plus methods of removing mold already in your home.
HUD’s informational flyer teaches you the facts about working safely with existing LEAD paint.
The Commonwealth's of Massachusetts has this new easy to read and understand brochure has information on what each Homeowner needs to know about Lead paint and how to safely delead a home.
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.
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.
Eligible Yarmouth Homeowners who are in a financial bind can now receive help with septic pumping costs. For details on this program you can find an application and info here.

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
JUST-A-START established in 1971, is a non-profit community development corporation, which operates primarily in Cambridge, MA. 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 of Southern Massachusetts creates affordable housing and provides financial education and counseling services across the South Shore of Massachusetts.
NeighborWorks of Southern Massachusetts creates affordable housing and provides financial education and counseling services across the South Shore of Massachusetts.
Landlords can find information on State funded low interest Loans for modification to their rental units here. These modifications can make those units more desirable for elders, individuals with disabilities as well as families with children with disabilities.
Landlords can find information on State funded low interest Loans for modification to their rental units here. These modifications can make those units more desirable for elders, individuals with disabilities as well as families with children with disabilities.
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 findresources on weatherizing your home and save money on future utility bills

Laws and Regulations

This page offers Landlords & (tenants)information on eviction practices and laws by the Government of MA court system. This site not only gives you 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 new eviction storage law that went into effect in Massachusetts on November 8, 2004.
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 site 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.
This is a comprehensive summary on security deposit laws across the US, it provides the most important rules necessary in a table format. Easy to read and understand. A great tool for both Landlords and Tenants.
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.

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 right away or even before you purchase a multi family home. This comprehensive guide by Fannie Mae will help you through this process and become a well informed Landlord.
The City of Boston offers this free series of seminars for Landlords and property managers. The topics are property maintenance/management, Landlord training and personal financial management. Graduates will be eligible for discounts through the Home Safe program.
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, it also offers the Landlords and property managers with information they can provide their tenants with regarding 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.
Here you find a "sample" Massachusetts standard residential lease agreement (Fixed term). This document is provided by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors via a link by: www.liveinnewengland.com
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 visit this tenant screening advice page.

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. This provides you with a list of cities and towns who offer a tax work- off program. Local programs set their own rules for the program using state guidelines.
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.
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

This document by HUD lists the final FMR FY 2015 summary according to bedroom size for all Massachusetts cities and towns.
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

This free service is available to all Landlords. Reach more tenants, in less time, with fewer headaches – for free! Leap past your competitors with our Premium service, where top placement among our listings is guaranteed. Are you pro-active? Premium landlords get to contact prospective tenants searching the area (QuikMatch Leads)!
This free service is available for all Landlords. Reach more tenants, in less time, with fewer headaches – for free! Leap past your competitors with our Premium service, where top placement among our listings is guaranteed. Are you pro-active? Premium landlords get to contact prospective tenants searching the area (QuikMatch Leads)!
Housing Assistance Corporation offers this link to all Cape Cod Landlords, so they may use it to list their affordable rental properties at no cost to them.
Propety owners in the Boston area now have an online option of listing their apartment with MBHP. Follow this link for further information and to list your available rental.
Reach more tenants, in less time, with fewer headaches – for free! Leap past your competitors with our Premium service, where top placement among our listings is guaranteed. Are you pro-active? Premium landlords get to contact prospective tenants searching the area (QuikMatch Leads)!
Reach more tenants, in less time, with fewer headaches – for free! Leap past your competitors with our Premium service, where top placement among our listings is guaranteed. Are you pro-active? Premium landlords get to contact prospective tenants searching the area (QuikMatch Leads)!

Prospective Buyer

Credit Readiness

American Consumer Credit Counseling is a non profit credit counseling agency that helps consumers take control of their financial lives through credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education. Since 1991 we have been improving lives and providing solutions to people in need of financial help. Visit this site to find more info and to find a certified credit counselor and receive a complimentary budget and debt consultation.
This site by the Federal Trade Commission offers consumers information and help on credit issues: 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 you will also find information on possible imposter websites of which you should be aware.
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 about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better.
Everyone should check their credit annually. It is best to always be informed about your credit status, in order to avoid financial trouble as well as possible credit fraud. To get your annual free credit report follow this link.
Do you really know where your spend your cash? Use this tool provided by Consumer Credit Counseling Services for a week to find out just how much you spend on the things you may not have considered.
The Federal Reserve's new rules for credit card companies mean new credit card protections for you. The Credit CARD Act is often 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 and Transparency.

Financing

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.
This page allows you to look up the FHA mortgage limits for your area or several areas, and then list 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.
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 page is a direct link to press releases by HUD. This will help the reader stay current on the latest housing NEWS released by the US Federal Governemnt'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 ever find any home loan advertisement that seems a bit unreal, it probably is. This site is to alert you to possible scams and it is very important info to know and spread around amongst your friends and family.
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. MassHousing relies on private non-profit and for-profit developers to construct and operate the rental housing that we finance, and on an extensive network of approved lenders to deliver our home mortgage programs to first-time home buyers.
Mortgage page has links to mortgage quotes, mortgage calculators, and various loan programs. Mortgage 101 directs you to general mortgage information.
This website was designed to assist potential home owners in the Homebuying process and to inform you of state- sponsored mortgage products available to homebuyers of low and moderate income.
The Section 184 Loan Program was designed to provide access to mortgage financing to 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.
Important for consumers who are shopping for a good mortgage lender! This state resource,by the division of banks,provides a list of companies whoÂ’s applications have not been renewed and my no longer be authorized to conduct business as lenders.
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 link.
After several years of discussions with lenders, community groups and borrowers, MHP's SoftSecond Loan Program transformed during the summer of 2013 from a two-loan structure to one mortgage, a move that will make it simpler for first-time buyers and the financial institutions that offer the program.
HUD's information on the PMI Act of 1998 can be found by following this link.
The "Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act"(RESPA)a HUD consumer protection statue: requires that consumers receive disclosures at various times in the transaction and outlaws kickbacks that increase the cost of settlement services during the home buying process. This act is enforced by HUD.
This particular website explains the deatils on the disclosures: it spells out the costs associated with the settlement, outlines lender servicing and escrow account practices and describes business relationships between settlement service providers.
ATTENTION BORROWERS! This may be the largest and most important loan you get during your lifetime. You should be aware of certain rights before you enter into any loan agreement.
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”).
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

You have decided to buy a new home. This booklet By HUD will help you take this big financial step by describing the home buying, home financing, and settlement process.
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).
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, contractor or a business practice that seems to be questionable. This site will help you do just that.
Information on buying or building a home, resources for renter, help for businesses, home improvements plus special help for senior homeowners.
2016 HUD approved Section 8 Income limits.New limits effective 3/28/16. 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 who handles a specific kind of legal problem. Be aware that lawyers referred to on this site do not provide free law services.

Health and Safety

This document by the US 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.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors informs the consumer about Carbon Monoxide in the home and what the new law requires of all MA homeowners.
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.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency's(EPA)guide to Radon reduction in your home can be read following this link.
This site provides information about lead, lead hazards, and provides some simple steps to protect your family.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has prepared consumer information to help you understand what mold is, how it can grow in your home and the routine maintenance procedures you can follow to prevent mold problems, plus methods of removing mold already in your home.
HUD’s informational flyer teaches you the facts about working safely with existing LEAD paint.
The Hepatitis Foundation International 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.
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.
This guide to lead hazards in your home was produced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It gives you Simple Steps To Protect Your Family from Lead Hazards and teaches you how to identify lead hazards and how to minimize your risk of exposure.

Home Inspection

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI),a not-for-profit professional association, founded in 1976, is North Americas oldest and largest professional society of home inspectors. Find a certified home inspector searching by zip code, metro area or neighborhood. You can even use our advanced search to 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 homebuyers have. The answers are provided to you by the American Society of Home Inspectors.
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 homebuyer workshop with your local homebuyer 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.
This website is dedicated to providing information about the many services that CSS has to offer. Including housing counseling, home ownership seminars for the prospective buyer as well as mortgage default and delinquency help and budgeting and money management for families and individuals.
Financial Education Associates provides classes for Boston home buyers through the Boston Home Center, City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development.
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 document created by CHAPA explains homebuyer terminology to the first time homebuyer who is not yet familiar with terms like: Deed, Easements,Earnest money etc. etc.
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.
MAHA (Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance) offers workshops which will help you plan to purchase a home. The classes will help you prepare so you will be able to afford your future mortgage payments and safe up for the upkeep of your home. This link will give you information on these classes and where and how to sign up for them.
Curious about the process of homebuying in Massachusetts? Try this step by step guide it is clear and accurate information from the state of Massachusetts.
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

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.
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 in the Berkshires helps low income families achieve their dream of homeownership 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.
Rural Development Inc. with the help of many partners, built a village of twenty Near Zero Net Energy homes close to the center of Greenfield, MA. Eleven of the homes are being built for low-income buyers, five are designated for moderate-income buyers, and two at market price rates. If you have your own land RDI might be able to build a green home for you. For more information check this website.
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. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses. 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:
The Homebuying Mentors® is recognized nationally and statewide. We are certified through The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling (NCHEC) and we have received the Seal of Approval from the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative.
We help residents in many of the following areas:acquire the knowledge and skills for first homeownership,foreclosure counseling to help current homeowners avoid loosing their homes,asset building and money management and academic support for the areas youth plus much more. 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. HfHI seeks to: Make decent, safe, and affordable housing 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 homeowners insurance sectionon of the I.I.I. Web site can help you make the right choices about this important form of protection for you and your family
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. MPIUA offers policies under the Homeowners, Dwelling Fire and Commercial Property programs as approved by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.
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

MA Chapter 140 Mobile Home Parks general Laws.
The American planning association's newsletter describes manufactured homes and some of the regulations developed by HUD and some of the states regulations regarding manufactured homes and local zoning laws.
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. is a Memberishp Organization
Here you can read all you need to know about buying, owning or renting a mobile home in Massachusetts. This document is provided to you by www.masslegalhelp.org this will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an owner or tenant of a mobile home.

Ownership Opportunities

In 1957, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) was established by the Boston City Council and the Massachusetts Legislature. They have made a commitment to create affordable homeownership and rental opportunities in the City of Boston. They continually work on expanding the City's housing stock. 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 oopportunities throughout the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Boston Home Center, in an effort to improve the level of personalized services: for each interested home buyer,offers this link for you to register. Signing up her will enable them to better match you with assistance, classes and potential homes to purchase.
This is a new "Cohousing Community" just starting up.1,2 & 4 Bedroom homes still available to purchase. Each family will own their own home and share the common facilites, which will include a large dining room,kitchen,living room, children's space, exercise room and workshop.
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. Updated 11/19/2011.
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 Homeownership Opportunity Program (HOP) was created in 1986 to stimulate the development of mixed-income single family or condominium projects sponsored by community housing partnerships and developers.The program is no longer active for constructing units, however units regularly become available for resale to qualified buyers. This link was updated on 11/26/11.
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 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 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.
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. They have a serious commitment to building affordable energy efficient homes while being respectful to the rural character of this region. To learn more about available homes and other programs they offer to the community visit their website here.
Sachem's Path is an affordable housing project sponsored by the Nantucket Housing Authority. It includes 40 one-, two- and three-bedroom homes, each with its own yard and private driveway.This page directs you to the latest news and updates,

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

The Ma Department of Revenue offers this information for senior home owners or home buyers.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provides Veterans and their families with this detailed information on property tax exemptions.
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: a lifeline wireless assistance program: free or inexpensive wireless calling for eligible folks Assurance Wireless is a Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile and supported by the federal Universal Service Fund. If you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, you can receive a FREE Assurance Wireless cell phone and 250 FREE monthly minutes.
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 customer 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:
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
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.
New improved MA site to information on: The Alternative Housing Voucher Program provides rental assistance to people with disabilities under age 60 who either live in, or are eligible to live in elderly/disabled state assisted public housing. Clink on a list of local housing authorities to se if they have the program and how to apply. November 2011.
The Mission of The Arc of Massachusetts is to enhance the lives of individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities and their families. They accomplish this through advocacy of supports and services based in the community. Locate your local/regional ARC Chapter.
This organization provides advocacy and educational services for people with disabilities. A new autism resource center is now available as well.
The MA Dept. of Public Health's 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, and recovery services to individuals, families and communities in Massachusetts. BSAS also ensures that HIV education and prevention programs are incorporated into all treatment and prevention services and that priority for admission to treatment is given to the high risk intravenous drug user and to pregnant and addicted women.
Cape Abilitiess serves individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod with educational,counseling & housing programs. They also offer residential, therapeutic, social and employment support.
Center for Living & Working, Inc. helps people with disabilities learn to live more independently. Independent Living 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 national consumer, advocacy, provider and professional organizations headquartered in Washington, D.C. Since 1973, the CCD has advocated on behalf of people of all ages with physical and mental disabilities and their families. CCD has worked to achieve federal legislation and regulations that assure that the 54 million children and adults with disabilities are fully integrated into the mainstream 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 Supportive Senior Housing Initiative seeks to bring some of the benefits of assisted living developments to the residents of the state-aided housing for elderly and handicapped persons (c. 667 housing) Updated site added 11/6/2011.
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.
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.
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. It has been created to 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. Please call the individual programs and agencies for more information about their available services and eligibility requirements.
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:
South Boston’s Hope and Recovery Coalition website provides people with substance abuse or psychiatric problems with information on where to get help NOW.
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.
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.
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
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.
This program provides clubhouse members with individual support services including: roommate/neighbor mediation; outreach; landlord/housing authority negotiation; assistance with subsidy applications, apartment search, assistance with moving or cleaning/maintaining apartments; helping with budgets. The Clubhouse Housing Support programs operate in accordance with the DMH Clubhouse Housing Support Program Standards.
This site offers basic information about the Department of Mental Developmental Services and the support services this agency offers. DDS creates a wide array of supports, housing options, training and other support services that are custom-fit to a person's needs and desires. They 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. It promotes individual decision-making, encourages family involvement, and emphasizes consumer and family participation.
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (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, please refer to‘Determining Eligibility for DMH Services’ on this website.
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 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. The program has many options that can help — even for people who don’t think they would qualify for a loan
The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) serves as the principal agency in the state on behalf of deaf, late deafened, and hard of hearing people. MCDHH has four regional offices and provide a broad range of services including case management, skill training, a statewide interpreter referral service and referrals for Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART).
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, or speech disabled may access any of the Department of Mental Health’s offices via the Massachusetts Relay Service (MassRelay). MassRelay is open 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) to communicate over regular telephone lines with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, or speech disabled.
The M.C.C. is a non-profit organization committed to helping people with long term mental health issues in Massachusetts find and secure employment, housing, and education, mental health services and other services and support in the community. The MCC works to strengthen and improve clubhouses while acting as an information clearinghouse and co-ordinating body enabling the clubhouse community to work together to improve the quality of and access to community supports. Use this website to locate a clubhouse in your area.
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind is a state agency, established in 1906, to provide a wide range of social and rehabilitation services to legally blind Massachusetts residents of all ages. Agency services may address a number of varied needs of individual blind persons, including vocational rehabilitation assistance to gain or regain employment; assistive technology to enhance individual performance; orientation and mobility services for independent travel; medical assistance services; rehabilitation teaching to better prepare people to manage activities of daily living; specialized services to children or elders who are blind.
Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) is part of a New England-wide movement to speak up for those in recovery from alcohol and other drug addictions. They 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.
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) assists individuals with disabilities to live independently and go to work. The agency serves individuals with all types of disabilities except those who are blind. Individuals with visual disabilities are served through the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. This site offers very comprehensive information for disabled consumers, with resources that range from basic needs such as housing and food, to education and training information.
The Boston Resource Center provides information, support and peer to peer referral services to individuals with various forms of mental illness and their families.
Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, USA, in the early Fifties. The NA program started as a small US movement that has grown into one of the world's oldest and largest organizations of its type. Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 31,000 weekly meetings in over 100 countries worldwide. You can use this direct link to NA New England in order to locate a meeting in your area.
The popular and informative (2004 Edition) 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 manual is an excellent reference for consumers, case managers, client advocates, program planners as well as funders.
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.
The availability of sterile syringes through needle exchange programs (NEP), pharmacies, and other outlets reduces unsafe injection practices such as needle sharing, curtails transmission of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, increases safe disposal of used syringes, and helps injecting drug users obtain drug information, treatment, detoxification, social services, and primary health care. Locate an NEP in Massachusetts on this site.
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.
If you have a disability, be it physical or psychiatric of nature you have certain rights under Anti-discrimination laws. This means that you can't be discriminated against because of your disability and may be able to request a reasonable accommodation during the occupancy cycle, whether it be admissions, tenancy, or eviction. This question and answer document provided to you by the Virginia Protection Advocacy System was supported by a grant from HUD.
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.
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.
Span Inc offers HIV positive ex offenders reintegration services including case management and help with transitional housing.
The Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) is part of the Community Services Program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. SHIP is the public program in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that identifies, cultivates and develops resources and services for Massachusetts residents who have sustained an externally caused traumatic brain injury.
Harm Reduction provides a variety of different services working to reduce the negative consequences of drug use. The 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.
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.

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. The goal of Congregate Housing is to increase self-sufficiency through the provision of supportive services in a residential setting. Congregate Housing is neither a nursing home nor a medical care facility.
The Elder Peer Specialist provides specialized information and referrals to Elders and their families in a welcoming and confidential manner. Community Teamwork’s Elder Peer Specialist will work in conjunction with you and other agencies to obtain the services you need . These services is specially designed for individuals 55 and older.
Welcome to the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. The Eldercare Locator connects older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information on senior services. The service links those who need assistance with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers. You may find the information resources you need by following the directions below or 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--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. Know your rights and how to file a housing discrimination complaint.
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:
This standard Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, which is available to non-group Medicare beneficiaries, replaces the First Seniority Freedom Medicare Advantage PFFS plan. (Harvard Pilgrim will continue to offer Medicare Enhance, a Medicare wrap product available to employer groups.)
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 acheived through a unique blend of prevention, placement, and housing programs all designed to help elders find and succeed in homes of their own, regardless of their special medical, mental health, or social needs.
The Elder Nutrition 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. Cold supper bags and weekend frozen meals are also available in some areas. Nutrition assessments and nutrition counseling are provided to the homebound elders who are at nutritional risk.
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. We have simplified your search by only listing the most qualified local Homecare providers. All companies are fully licensed, bonded, and insured.
A 20-year old non-profit agency, 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. This allows H.O.M.E. counselors to focus solely on H.O.M.E.’s mission: To conserve and protect the equity of low/mod-income elder homeowners so they can‘age in place’
The Hospice Association of America (HAA) is a national organization representing more than 2,800 hospices and thousands of caregivers and volunteers who serve terminally ill patients and their families. Recently ranked the most effective health care trade organization on Capitol Hill by Congressional offices, HAA is the largest lobbying group for hospice, advocating the industry's interests before Congress, the regulatory agencies, other national organizations, the courts, the media, and the public.
Those programs assist individual health care consumers who are coping with issues of caregiving, terminal illness, and grief
This link directs you to the HUD site on the Fair Housing Law. You will be able to download the information in the following languages: english,spanish,arabic,cambodian, chinese, korean,russian and vietnamese.
Many elders, disabled adults, and children with special needs are able to receive health care at home. 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 State of Massachusetts online resource info 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, foreclosure or eviction help to 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 offers w team of nurses, CNAs, Home health Aides, EMTs, social workers, massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, physical therapists and others offer Cape Cod elders help with personal care, errands, meals, transportation, advocacy and much more to enable you to stay in your own home as long as possible.
This non-profit association is devoted to supporting the establishment and operation of quality assisted living residences in Massachusetts that provide appropriate supportive housing and services for individuals with varied needs and income levels.
One of the most rapidly growing forms of residential long-term care in Massachusetts is Assisted Living. 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. Locate an ALR in your town.
The Massachusetts Home Care Program provides support services to elders with daily living needs to remain at home in their communities. The services are designed to encourage independence and to ensure dignity. Eligibility for the Home Care Program is based on age (60 or older), financial status, and ability to carry our daily tasks such as bathing, dressing and meal preparation. Respite for caregivers is also provided.
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 (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant). This site is designed to provide you with information 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.
Looking for housing options for yourself, an aging parent, relative, or friend? Do some research first to determine what kind of assistance or living arrangement you need; what your health insurance might cover; and what you can afford. Then check here for financial assistance resources and guides for making the right choice. Talk to a HUD-approved housing counselor if you have questions about your situation.
Prescription Advantage, the Massachusetts state pharmaceutical assistance program (SPAP), works together with the Medicare prescript ion drug coverage to lower prescription drug 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, and many people are taking advantage of the option to remain at home for as long as possible. There are a lot of opportunities in the design of the home, spanning 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:
Here you will find a list of phone numbers for SHINE representatives throughout MA.
SSI recipients,this booklet by the National Consumer Law Center informs you on all you need to know about this special debit card service.
Stonewall Communities, Inc., a non-profit tax-exempt organization, was created to build a community for and with LGBT seniors in mind, and to help their friends to better understand and advocate for the seniors needs. They 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.
Works on identifing the physical and social needs and interests of senior residents in the towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah. This includes educating the community to these needs and to design, coordinate and implement programs and services for elder persons sixty years or age of older. 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.
Welcome to the Administration on Aging (AoA) web site. Our site is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of a wide variety of topics, programs and services related to aging. Whether you are an older individual, a caregiver, a community service provider, a researcher, or a student, you will find valuable information provided in a user-friendly way.
From its beginnings, hospice has focused on the whole person - body, mind and spirit - with an understanding that serious illness profoundly impacts not only the patient, but family and loved ones as well. 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.
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.
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.
RCAP Solutions is temporarily suspending intake and orientation for RAFT until further notice. Please read the following document for more detailed 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

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.
If you have questions regarding discrimination and you live in the Boston area you might want to check this website for information on where to get help and how to proceed with a possible 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. 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
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. You can search for local informaiton by town and state and topic.
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.
GLAD gives the reader guidance on how to deal with housing discriminaiton based on sexual orientation or HIV status.
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.
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 and the second floor houses a beautiful childrenï¾’s room.
Food Pantries on Cape Cod A Guide to Help You Find Food for You and Your Family on Cape Cod
The States 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 will find out about distribution centers and other details about this program
Your family might be eligible for food stamps or other programs listed in this page. Here you can go through a short online survey to find out if you qualify. It also enables you to print out an application.
This links you to phone contacts for many food programs as well as other resources around the State. Legal help,health care information, parental guidance and employment training contacts and much more.
If you are a family in need or you want to donate food, or you want to take part in one of the fundraisers this is the page you want to consult for information on current activities at the greater boston food bank.
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 mission is to alleviate, prevent, and ultimately end hunger in Massachusetts by 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
Their mission is to work with the local communities to reduce hunger and increase food security for families, they also run their 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. -The Pantry is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00- 4:00p.m. From mid October through mid April. -Even when closed, from mid April through mid October, emergency food assistance is available.
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.
A nutrition and health educational program for women, infants and children in Massachusetts: WIC ensures all expecting mothers, new mothers and young children receive proper nutrition for a healthy start in live. If you need help or want to help out check this website for more information.
The Women's Lunch Place is a daytime safe and dignified refuge in Boston's Back Bay for women and children who are poor and/or homeless. Open Monday-Saturday from 8:00AM to 2:00PM, 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.

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 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

Health Law Advocates (HLA) are committed to assisting low- and moderate-income consumers across Massachusetts. Recently, HLA has received consumer inquiries regarding out-of-state discount health plans that are offered to residents of the Commonwealth. Follow this link and read this information before you commit to any such coverage please.
With the support of social service organizations that provide health and human services throughout Massachusetts and in collaboration with Massachusetts Association of Information and Referral Specialists (MAIRS) the United Way introduces this statewide Information & Referral System. With this confidential call, you will find contact information for many needs from housing, to government benefits and especially during a crisis situation, call 211
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.
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.
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.
Is a non-profit experiential educational program based in Worcester, Massachusetts for 8th graders. This group is working with youth who do better at ‘Hands on Learning. They provide young people with an opportunity to test interests and aptitudes. They become involved in a meaningful internship and develop a community with their 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 their program. To learn about their programs follow these links: Internship Year and Youth Academy.
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 by the.
Are you looking for someone who understands the emotional challenges you face, can help find services to meet your child's needs, or want to better understand the service system that exists for your family? Whether you are a new parent, just starting out, or a veteran and thinking about transition to adulthood, YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE! The Family TIES Parent-to-Parent Program provides a unique type of support among parents who share similar life experiences. Parents learn so much from the practical experiences.
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.
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:
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.
In cooperation with faith based organizations they provide recycled household goods for individuals and families in need. From furnishings to pots and 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 the Jan. 31 filing season opens, the Internal Revenue Service today announced the immediate availability of Free File brand-name software for most taxpayers. Fourteen commercial software companies that provide their Free File tax prep products at no cost began offering their products today -- available only at IRS.gov/freefile.
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.
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. For states that rely solely on the federal Lifeline and Link-Up program eligibility criteria, subscribers must either have an income that is at or below 135% of the federal Poverty Guidelines, or participate in one of the following assistance programs:
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.
Mediation can help to resolve problems related to: Landlord – Tenant Disputes: property repairs / maintenance of common areas / access to units / rent increases or payments / security deposits / Noise and Pet issues / Communication and other relevant concerns
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 list of links to Cities and Towns across the Commonwealth is provided by the Massachusetts Municipal Association's website.
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.
This Christian ministry delivers essential furniture and food free of charge to those in need. To find out contact information please visit their website here:
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. A link that is worthwhile to bookmark for future information.
Since April 2006 a new law is in effect in Massachusetts which will expand access to health insurance to all Massachusetts residents, Commonwealth care ranks as one of the top MA HMO’. The “Neighborhood Health Plan” offers families and individuals healthcare premiums depending on your income. To learn about these income limits and the available plans check this website.
This site provides MA consumers with links to governmnet benefits programs. These programs include emergency assistance, education, heating assistance, food programs and much more.b
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. Only one discount is available per household, either landline or wireless, but not both.
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.
The office of the Massachusetts 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.
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. This information published by the Institute of Community Inclusion of UMASS Boston explains the rules and the programs available to people who can benefit from them.
2016 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.
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.
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.
This site by the MA Dental Society is designed specifically for children, it teaches you about the importance of good oral health habits through fun activities and programs.
This site provides information about lead, lead hazards, and provides 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.
Health Care for All’s HelpLine is a free resource available to everyone simply by dialing 1-800-272-4232. The HelpLine is here to answer your questions about health coverage in Massachusetts. We can answer general insurance questions, tell you what free and lower- cost programs you may be eligible for, and help you to apply all in quick and easy telephone call. You can contact us by phone or online. Either way, a Helpline counselor is able to help you with your health coverage needs.
The only non-profit law firm in Massachusetts dedicated exclusively to health care access. With our parent organization, Health Care For All, HLA combines legal expertise with grassroots organizing and policy reform to advance the statewide movement for universal health care access. Health Law Advocates provides free legal assistance to hundreds of Massachusetts families each year.
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. updated site 11.13.11
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 our family when living in an older home where possible lead might be an issue. This pamphlet here published by the EPA gives you good advice on a healthy diet and other steps you can take to avoid lead exposure to your family.
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
If you are having a hard time feeding your family, paying for prescriptions, or if you become ill without insurance, we can help you find assistance.
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 Center fosters evidence-based programs through regional collaboratives that include community based organizations, health care providers and plans, government, foundations, and for- profit partners. These programs all occur in community settings and are designed to empower adults living with one or more chronic conditions to take a more active role in their health care. The Healthy Living Center provides participants workshops in all parts of Massachusetts through partnerships with six (6) regional collaborators.
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.

Housing Agencies

Action Inc. offers help with the following housing related issues: Rent or mortgage assistance, Assistance with housing searches, in collaboration with North Shore Housing Services,Help with move-in costs, Mediation in landlord / tenant disputes Help with subsidized housing, including application issues and much more. Visit their site for contact info and more.
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 their site by following this link.
CMHA operates many programs ranging from homelessness prevention to affordable homeownership as well as services for elder homeowners. CMHA provides leadership and is making an effort to strengthen homeless service delivery systems and works on increasing and preserving the supply of affordable housing in the Worcester area. CMHA is a member of the "Regional Housing Network of MA"
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.
HECH develops housing, both rental and homeownership opportunities, and self- manages a portfolio of 54 rental units. It also administers rental assistance programs funded by local municipalities and continues to actively help families’ access resources and assistance from a variety of available sources
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.
Dedicated to providing quality public housing for eligible tenants. They own and manage 2551 apartments within the City of New Bedford. They 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 they 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.
MBHP's 2010 spring NEWS letter explains about their new online apartment listing option and other important updates.

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.
Massaffordablehomes.org has 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 Boston Rental Housing Center was created in 1995 to provide advice, information and assistance to Boston landlords and tenants who have problems or questions about rental housing issues.
The Cambridge Community Development Department maintains a mailing list of households who are interested in affordable housing opportunities in the City of Cambridge. The mailing list is not an application for housing, but if you are on this list you will receive information on affordable housing opportunities. For more detailed information and to fill out the contact form follow this link.http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/housing.aspx
The City of Newton provides this information on organizations who develop and manage affordable rental housing in Newton. They may have units available at this time or you may ask to add your name to a waiting list for units that become available in the future. One of these organizations, Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization, also develops affordable for-sale units. Application procedures vary according to the organization that manages the specific affordable housing unit.
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.
The “MA Department of Housing and Community Development” created this extensive list of housing related resources for all Massachusetts residents. If you need help with any kind of housing needs check this list for contact information. New link added November 2011.
HAPHousing 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
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" the properties are professionally managed.
This Website helps you with your search for housing, subsidies, waitlists and other housing related issues.
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, and has almost 200 additional units planned or in process. 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
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.
The Community Development Partnership of the Lower Cape has affordable rental and homeownership options available for more information visit their website at this link.
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.
MBHP now has an online apartment listing. Property owners who want to list their apartment and Tenants looking for a place to rent can follow this link set up for their convenience.
Twin City Community Development Corporation also known as New View 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.
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 2016 Fair Market Rents by, State, County, individual Towns and according to Bedroom size. Once you have selected this page enter Massachusetts and click "state wide" or your County to find out the respective dollar amount for your area.
HUD's 2106 AMI's for Massachusetts, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties can be found on pages 98 & 99 following this link.
Information every tenant with a voucher needs to know about their CORI (Criminal Offender record informaiton).
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.
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. This page lists the participating housing authorities and the income limits. You can also download the application.

Legal Advice & Information

This 22-page booklet prepared by the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute answers questions about the new eviction storage law that went into effect in Massachusetts on November 8, 2004. Learn how to protect your belongings if you are facing eviction.
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.
Find a listing of the Legal Services Programs in your area as well as a link to articles in Spanish, Khmer, Russian, and Vietnamese.
What tenants need to know if their landlord stops paying his/her mortgage, the BANK starts foreclosure proceedings and through that becomes the new owner. This link provides you with information on your rights and responsabilities. For the most part there should not be many changes to the landlord-tenant relationship you are accustomed to.
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 who handles a specific kind of legal problem.
LiveJustice is a project of Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts. They are dedicated to helping low-income residents of Massachusetts with housing problems.Here you can search for answers on your own or e-mail an attorney with a tenant/landlord issue. Note! This website has information in spanish as well.
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 need to get your security deposit back from your landlord, you can sue him or her in 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
Some of these links have been mentioned before, but this is an excellent resource from the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries. You will find links to forms used during an eviction case as well as frequently asked questions regarding tenant and landlord law.
This service is provided by HUD,this enables tenants of HUD insured and assisted properties to field complaints on poor maintenance,dangers to health and safety as well as mismanagment 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!
Massachusetts Security Deposit and Last Months Rent guide by "RentLaw.com". This guide provides tentants with information on what MA law requires your landlord to do with your security deposit and last months rent.
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.
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, called to active duty in the military, or deployed servicemembers. It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of those deployed servicemembers.

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

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 banksand banking, but we hope it will be a good basic introduction.
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 of Dallas
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 what your rights are, when a debt collector is making false statements and what you can do about this.
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 as well as possible credit fraud. To get your annual free credit report follow this link.
Every credit card customer should check their credit score regularly. If your credit is not stellar this link to the Federal Reserve website offers you 5 tips on how to improve your credit core.
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

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. Its mission: to support the academic achievement of homeless children in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve with after school tutoring, needed school supplies, and educational assistance for families. For contact information go to their website.
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 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.
Accessing healthcare can be difficult when you're homeless. In an effort to be accessible, Boston Health Care for the Homeless (BHCHP) provider teams 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.
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.
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.
This site will let you search for community health Care centers across Massachusetts.
Crossroads not only provides shelter and a food pantry for families, their staff also helps families with learning about public assistance , seeking educational and employment opportunities, as well as learning to overcome stress and trauma.
If you are fleeing a violence and dangerous living situation, call Safelink, a 24 hour multi-lingual Massachusetts statewide hotline 1-877- 785-2020. SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish and TTY (1-877-521- 2601). It also has the capacity to provide multilingual translation in more than 140 languages
Battered Women Programs Many of the services are offered at additional cities/towns. Please contact the site listed which is closest to you for referral information. Sorted by "City/Town".
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.
We offer free and confidential counseling, shelter, legal advocacy, safety planning, teen dating violence prevention education, a 24/7 hotline, and much more. Each year we reach over 5,000 people from almost every city, town and hamlet in Berkshire County and we know we are only scratching the surface.
Father Bills and Main spring recently united in their mission to help currently homeless people by offering temporary shelter and food as well as helping people find permanent housing with supportive services in the following towns in MA: from 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.
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.
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 to homeless families or families at risk of homelessnes. For more information select this link.
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. Prevention Team Members are also dedicated to developing sound housing retention strategies with low-income households all over Greater Boston.
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.
In order to be eligible for services funded by a McKinney-Vento Supportive Housing Program (SHP) grant, an applicant must meet HUD’s definition of homelessness. This informational guide will help you navigate in this difficult time of your life.
We educate and advocate for the needs of the Homeless Community. Help Homeless Men and Women get off the street by providing food and shelter. Train them to deal with medical, psychological, spiritual and addiction issues. Help them to connect with available resources. Urge those who are capable to find employment or volunteer their time. Facilitate acquistion of financial assistance for residents. Teach goal setting, occupational and life skills that will lead to independent living.
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. If you need help with a Car ask for Skip Johnson of the good neighbor garage
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
MA trial law libraries, this site provides the reader with information and guidelines and effective responses to domestic violence and related topics in MA
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 Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) Created by an association of grassroots organizations in 1981, 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, as well as car seats, strollers and cribs.
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.
Information on the MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education’s child nutrition outreach program can be found here.
"One Family" scholarship is a program for homeless or formerly homeless women with children, who want to complete their education but have been hindered to because of their responsibilities of providing health care and food for their children. One Family is a non profit organization who is devoted to ending homelessness for families.
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.
Their mission is to educate, empower, strengthen, nurture and assist families and individuals with shelter, food and other services. Visit their site for more in depth information and help.
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 might be found on this website.To learn more To learn more about these programs and to find important contact information click here.
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.
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.
Outreach Center is to 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
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. New link 11/19/11
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.
If you or someone you know on Martha’s Vineyard needs the assistance of the Food Pantry, the following information should be helpful. -The Pantry is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:00- 4:00p.m. From mid October through mid April. -Even when closed, from mid April through mid October, emergency food assistance is available.
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.
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.
This supportive transitional housing program helps 13 families in the City of Brockton become strongest and 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 to help them 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
The Youth On Fire drop-in center was established in the fall of 2000 to provide a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for homeless and street- involved youth. The center offers basic necessities, as well as prevention information on HIV, STDs, Hepatitis C and other diseases associated with high-risk behavior. YOF has onsite hot meals, clothing, showers, and laundry facilities, as well as weekly medical care, mental health counseling, and referrals to community resources.

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 & lega information on renting a place with others co-tenants and permission from landlord etc
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.
Updated Nov 2011: 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. By: "Oh My Apartment A Renters Guide"
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.
On March 16, 2005, a new law went into effect in Massachusetts that allows landlords to bill tenants starting new tenancies directly for water if the property meets the law’s 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. Due to the great need for cars in this region they will only be starting to take new applications in the spring of 2008.
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 who contracts with full service fuel oil dealers. Coop members are charged no more than a low fixed profit margin over and above the wholesale cost to the dealer. Oil prices can vary up and down, and Self Reliance staff checks wholesale prices daily for their members.
The Cape Light Compact is a regional services organization made up of all 21 towns of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, and Barnstable and Dukes counties. The purpose of the Compact is to represent and protect consumer interests in a restructured utility industry. As authorized by each town, the Compact operates the regional energy efficiency program and works with the combined buying power of the region's 200,000 electric consumers to negotiate for lower cost electricity and other public benefits.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), LIHEAP assists low- income individuals and families with the cost of heating their homes during the winter season. The Program is managed by the DHCD in conjunction with 22 regional nonprofit and local government organizations.
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. Bay State Gas offers customers discounts on weatherization work, rebates for more efficient heating systems. Bay State Gas also partners with local community action companies 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 is a direct link to the application to receive a electrical rate.
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.
Here the US Department of Energy provides information for MA energy consumer on green & renewable power. You can find details on suppliers, the kind of power used in production and also some pricing.
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 MA Department of Public Utilities has important information for consumers when shopping for competitive electric supply products.
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 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, power supply, outages and energy efficiency incentives.
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 site by National Grid (Formerly Keyspan) gives you tips on saving energy, paying your bill, what to do with overdue bills and other useful information.
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.
Information on energy efficient programs and insentives, financial assistance, gas heating programs, account management and much more.
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.
NEW WEBSITE June 2013: 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. It 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, weÂ’ve 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 we offer the following services: job training, additional educational tools and 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.
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.