NeighborWorks® Housing Solutions (NHS), the leading housing service provider in southern Massachusetts, will hold a free New Bedford event offering in-person help in applying for RAFT/ERAP emergency housing assistance on Thursday, October 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center, 181 Hillman Street in New Bedford.
NeighborWorks Housing Solutions is the Regional Administering Agency for Plymouth, Bristol and parts of Norfolk county, administering these programs for people in need of assistance with rent, mortgage, moving assistance, or utility arrearages across the region.
“As our local economy recovers, we want to be sure that no one is left behind,” said Senator Mark Montigny. “This effort ensures that our constituents can remain stably housed and continue to play an essential role in our community’s strength and continued progress.”
Residential Assistance to Families in Transition (RAFT) and Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) are programs that provide eligible households short-term financial assistance that is used to help them keep their housing, obtain new housing, pay their mortgage, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless. Households of any size and composition may be eligible for funding, and applicants do not need to be documented citizens to apply for assistance.
“Among the lingering effects of the pandemic is the need for many of our residents to obtain emergency housing assistance,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “We are grateful to NeighborWorks Housing Solutions for providing the resources and support necessary for our neediest residents to continue down the track toward self-sufficiency during this challenging period.”
“These programs are vital to our communities, as they not only help tenants catch up on their rents, but also provide much needed funds to homeowners and property owners, allowing them to stay current on their mortgages and prevent defaults,” added State Representative Antonio Cabral.
The event is open to tenants, landlords, homeowners and advocates. NeighborWorks Housing Solutions staff will assist applicants in-person as they fill out an online application and answer any questions participants may have. Multilingual staff will be available on site.
To apply, individuals should bring an ID that includes birthdate, recent proof of income, landlord email and phone number (for tenants), mortgage statement (for homeowners), and utility bill or shut off notice. Masks are required and COVID protocols will be followed.
“Providing in-person multilingual application assistance is critical to ensure that residents have full access to services and resources that are available to them,” stated Robert Corley, CEO of NeighborWorks Housing Solutions. “We are grateful to Mayor Mitchell and the Planning Department, our state legislators, and local partners such as PACE and CEDC for their advocacy and for helping to make this day possible.”
Those who are unable to attend may still apply online at any time through the NHS website at https://nhsmass.org/. The application is available in multiple languages. Households who do not have computer access may also call and leave a message on the NHS RAFT hotline at 781.422.4204. NHS staff will respond and work to find a suitable application option for them.
About NeighborWorks® Housing Solutions
NeighborWorks® Housing Solutions is the leading housing service provider in southern Massachusetts. NHS has more than 70 years of combined experience in the community development field and provides services to more than 16,000 households in over 75 cities and towns across the region. In addition to building and managing nearly 900 units of housing for veterans, homeless families and others in need, the agency offers a wide range of housing services, including foreclosure prevention counseling, home rehabilitation loans and grants, financial coaching and first-time homebuyer workshops. For more information, contact Serenity Belo, Resource Development Director, at 617-801-5217 or email@example.com, or visit: www.nhsmass.org.