HOUSING OPPORTUNITY CENTER
During the COVID pandemic, many families and individuals have struggled to pay their rents or mortgages due to loss of income. PACE’s Housing Opportunity Center has programs and resources to help people keep their apartments or their homes.
PACE Housing Opportunity Center provides one on one guidance to match programs to individual needs.
Programs and services include:
- Limited rental assistance.
- Mediation when negotiating with a landlord about back rent or payment plans.
- Tenant education workshops to provide tools for self-sufficiency and to help those with barriers to securing permanent, affordable housing.
PACE Housing staff provides guidance to apply for local and state financial assistance to prevent losing a home or being evicted from an apartment.
For more information call 508-993-0033 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to COVID-19, there are no walk ins at this time. Please contact us by email or by phone.
Mailing address: 308 Cottage Street, New Bedford, MA 02470
Carmen Mejil, Director
Maria Grace, ESG Coordinator
Massachusetts Homeowners Assistance Fund
The Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund (Mass HAF) is available for homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of HAF is to prevent foreclosures and displacements of eligible homeowners. Mass HAF is funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
TO APPLY: https://massmortgagehelp.org/apply/
If you need help with your application, including language assistance or reasonable accommodations, you can call 833-270-2953, Monday - Saturday, 8am – 7pm.
I’M A HOMEOWNER AND BEHIND ON MY MORTGAGE.
Do I qualify for Mass HAF?
You may qualify for Mass HAF if:
- You own and live in a condominium, single family-home, or a 2-, 3- or 4-family property in Massachusetts
- You are behind on your mortgage payments by at least 3 months
- You or someone in your household had their income go down, or living expenses go up, after January 21, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes job loss, fewer work hours, paying more for childcare, illness, or being unable to work because you had to take care of a family member
- You meet the program’s income limits (income limits are 150% of AMI - area median income) Calculate here.
HOW CAN MASS HAF HELP ME?
If you are approved for Mass HAF, you would receive assistance to pay overdue mortgage payments. If you also have overdue payments on property taxes, insurance, or homeowner/condominium fees, you may be able to receive additional assistance.
WILL I RECEIVE THE MONEY DIRECTLY?
No. If you are approved, money will go directly to your mortgage loan servicer (the company that receives your mortgage payments). You will be informed about how much assistance was provided and how it was used.
WILL I NEED TO PAY THE MONEY BACK?
No, the assistance is a grant, not a loan.
You will not have to pay the money back.
For more info: massmortgagehelp.org
Local and State Programs
1. Emergency Solutions Grant, (ESG) Rental Assistance Program
Contact: Maria Grace, ESG Coordinator, email@example.com, (508)993-0033 ext 102
The ESG program assists homeless households and households at risk of homelessness by supporting the services necessary to help them quickly regain stable housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.
The criteria to apply for ESG funds:
- Must reside in New Bedford
- Help paying back rent
- Be at risk of homelessness; Eviction Notice or 14-day notice to quit
- Meet eligibility criteria: Must be within 30% of Area Median Income
Assistance with moving into a permanent residence:
- Must verify and meet HUD definition of homeless
- Fleeing Domestic Violence
2. Safe at Home Project
For legal service referrals, contact:
Maria Grace, Emergency Solutions Grant Coordinator, (508) 993-0033 ext. 102
Carmen Mejil, Director, (508) 993-0033 ext. 103
A Collaboration between PACE Housing Opportunity Center and SouthCoast Counties Legal Services which provides direct referrals for free legal services:
- If you are facing an eviction
- If you need help with an SSI appeal or
- If you are having issues with Unemployment Claims
1. Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program & Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA)
The RAFT program is funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and provides short-term, limited financial assistance for eligible families facing:
- Eviction notice/14-day notice
- Foreclosure proceedings resulting in loss of housing
- Severe overcrowding
- Income has been affected by COVID and need short-term rental assistance
- Domestic violence
- Mortgage or rent arrears
- Other crises that will result in loss of housing within 30 days
The program is designed for families and individuals whose income is at or below 50% of the area median income with a percentage of funding targeted to those whose incomes are below 30% of area median income. This funding is available to eligible Massachusetts residents, regardless of immigration status.
For more information and to apply: visit NHSMASS
The ERMA program can provide rental and mortgage assistance to low-income households who have been impacted by the crisis and may not be eligible for RAFT. This program is available for households within the 50-80% range of Area Median Income (AMI). Like RAFT, ERMA may provide up to $10,000 for eligible households to assist with rent or mortgage arrears accrued after April 1, 2020 and/or with upcoming rent or mortgage payments.
2. HomeBASE Program
HomeBASE Stabilization Case Managers:
- Brenda Sanchez, (508) 993-0033 ext 107
- Sondra Karnbach, (508) 993-0033 ext 105
- Shakea Williams, (508) 993-0033 ext 104
HomeBASE is a Commonwealth of Massachusetts program which provides families who are in the emergency shelter assistance system an opportunity to overcome some of the financial barriers to ending their homelessness.
To qualify for HomeBase you must be:
- Homeless, seeking shelter
- Have custody of one or more children
To apply for HomeBASE, please call the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) at 866-584-0653 or visit your local Department of Transitional Assistance office (DTA)