BROCKTON, MA–With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the financial state of many individuals and families, NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, a housing service provider in southern Massachusetts, is providing several crucial services to assist those in need.
In keeping with its mission, NHS continues to provide foreclosure counseling as well as landlord services, financial counseling, rental assistance, and other housing resources.
NHS will now be providing its CHAPA and HUD-certified homebuyer education for free online to all, information is available at www.nhsmass.org.
Additionally, NeighborWorks Housing Solutions is the only organization throughout southern Massachusetts that administers the state’s Rental Assistance to Families in Transition (RAFT) financial assistance program. On March 25th, Governor Baker announced new funding under the RAFT program that will provide short-term emergency financial assistance for families and individuals to stabilize their situations. This program will help eligible homeowners and renters by assisting with mortgage payments, rent, utility bills, and other costs. This special program targets households facing instability as a result of a COVID-19 (coronavirus) related housing crisis due to a loss of wages or increase in expenses (e.g., medical expenses).
Currently NHS is experiencing double the normal daily rate of inquiries in the RAFT program. Since the governor’s announcement of COVID RAFT funds, the organization has assisted 123 households that have been approved to receive RAFT funds, as well as another 214 households that have submitted their applications and are waiting for additional documentation to move onto the next phase. In all over 900 applications for assistance have been submitted with another 40 to 60 households on average joining the queue daily. In response, NHS has incorporated an “all hands on deck” mentality to help people move through the grant process more efficiently.
Those interested in applying for RAFT can visit the NHS website or call 781-422-4204.
Additionally, NHS recently established a Housing Hotline (781-422-4208) for individuals or families with questions regarding evictions or foreclosures. All call lines offer assistance in multiple languages.
NeighborWorks Housing Solutions also owns and operates more than 1,000 units of housing throughout southern Massachusetts.
Construction work continues on three of its latest housing developments – a group home for adults with intellectual and development disabilities in Quincy through a partnership with Work Inc., eight units of housing in Marshfield for formerly homeless veterans, and 48 units of affordable housing, known as Sycamore on Main. This development is located on Main Street in downtown Brockton and will feature mixed-use retail or restaurant space on the ground floor and one- and two-bedroom apartments on the four floors above. This new development is expected to be completed and occupied by early 2021 and is one of several new exciting developments in downtown Brockton.
“We know our communities have been impacted deeply by the pandemic, and our cities and neighborhoods have been hit hard economically. Families are dealing with the loss of loved ones, and potentially their livelihoods,” said Robert Corley, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks® Housing Solutions. “Our team has quickly mobilized electronically to help safely meet the needs of those in our community. We will continue to work with our partners and be a resource to those we currently serve, and those coming to us for the first time. Most importantly, we want people to know that they do not have to navigate through all of this alone, and we are here to help.”