Supporting Every Family
Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCEC)
Throughout the state, the Housing Consumer Education Centers engage tenants, landlords, prospective buyers and homeowners to provide up-to-date housing information from budgeting to Section 8 to legal matters and regulations. Through one of our nine regional walk-in centers, our toll-free number (800-224-5124), and our web site (www.masshousinginfo.org), the HCEC program provides easy access for every resident and directly impacts over 50,000 people a year. The HCEC program uniquely addresses the needs of disabled and elderly tenants.
Through these channels, consumers can access information designed to maximize housing stability, strengthen investments, and minimize disputes. The HCEC program emphasizes self-reliance through knowledge and skill-building with an in-depth schedule of classes throughout the state, including:
- First time homebuyer classes
- Budgeting and financial planning workshops
- Fair housing and tenant information
- First time landlord workshops
To find out more about the Housing Consumer Education Centers, please visit www.masshousinginfo.org or call 1-800-224-5124.
Constituents Helped: Services provided to all Massachusetts residents.
Creating Housing Through Innovative Partnerships
Housing Development and Management
Network agencies have engaged and partnered with developers and investors to develop over 7,500 units of affordable housing for Massachusetts. These housing units include:
- Single family housing
- Single person occupancy units
- Transitional housing for the homeless
- Housing with supportive services
- Community residences for the disabled
The pragmatic and entrepreneurial spirit of the Regional Housing Network has created housing for families, farm workers, elderly, and handicapped citizens.
Constituents Helped: All residents in need of affordable homes.
Providing Education, Finance Options, and Support to First Time Home Buyers and Homeowners
Across the state, our network agencies assist first time homebuyers by:
- Providing one-on-one pre-purchase counseling
- Helping to find low-cost mortgages
- Offering access to repair funds from state, federal, and local programs
- Leading homeownership classes and education
For households with modest incomes, the Regional Housing Network makes homeownership possible by running sweat equity programs in rural areas to reduce construction costs and by obtaining low-cost federal mortgages.
In addition to providing education and access to financing options and programs, the Regional Housing Network provides buyers with access to properties that are government or bank-owned. After move-in day, we support first time homeowners by offering continuing education.
- We offer workshops and additional information on how to maintain a home and how to prevent foreclosure or other financial hardships related to owning a home.
Constituents Helped: Homeowners and First Time Home Buyers
Mediation and Counseling: Keeping People in Their Homes
Beyond generating new affordable homes and helping people find homes, our network agencies provide support services to help keep people in their homes. We offer tenants, landlords, and homeowners individual counseling and mediation to resolve housing difficulties. The network agencies offer information on and help in applying for financial assistance for rent, utility, and other emergency needs. We provide courses on property management and landlord law, in the form of workshops, manuals, and financial counseling. In addition to one-on-one counseling and courses, the Housing Consumer Education Center website provides 24/7 access to this information and serves over 1,650 unique visitors a month.
Constituents Helped: Property owners, tenants and homeowners
Homeless Services and Shelters
Our network agencies are committed to helping families and individuals avoid homelessness. The Housing Consumer Education Centers and their partners provide essential answers and resources to thousands of people. The member agencies also assist with rental assistance, housing search, housing stabilization and homeless prevention services. They offer a full range of services, including emergency shelter when housing systems fail. Throughout the state, we operate over 350 units of shelters for families and 175 for individuals. The members also provide transitional housing and support services to families who have survived domestic violence.
Each of the member agencies is an active participant with regional partners in the Commonwealth's efforts to end homelessness.
Constituents Helped: Homeless and Victims of Domestic Violence
Strategic Technical Assistance for Communities
For over 25 years, our network agencies have been at the forefront of housing issues. Our local experience combined with our statewide network allows the Regional Housing Network to help community groups, towns, and housing authorities develop affordable housing strategies that work. Our agencies have provided:
- Concept development
- Grant writing
- Staff training
- Start-up Support
Member agencies leverage their local networks and work with banks to develop programs that address local credit needs and help small town banks to apply jointly for federal housing funds. Through these efforts, the Regional Housing Network has brought millions of new dollars in rehabilitation funds to areas that would otherwise have been unassisted.
Constituents Helped: Cities and Towns, Housing Authorities, Community Groups
In addition to developing new housing and providing education through the Housing Consumer Education Centers, our network agencies administer federal and state rental assistance programs such as Section 8 on a regional basis. Rent subsidies help low- and moderate-income households pay their rent by using government funds to cover the difference between approximately 30% of their income and the actual cost of the rent. Currently, network agencies administer close to 20,000 federal rent subsidies across the state, and over 1,600 state rental vouchers, many of them in communities without local housing authority programs.
Constituents Helped: low and moderate income households