Cash Assistance Programs - IN MASSACHUSETTS -

Cash Assistance Programs

Click on a program name for more information:

Cash assistance programs in Massachusetts give financial help to low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. Cash assistance programs are for Massachusetts residents who need help paying for their basic living expenses.







TAFDC

TAFDC is a government program that gives cash assistance and other benefits to low-income families with dependent children. TAFDC is sometimes called "welfare" or "public assistance." To qualify for TAFDC, you must have a child or be pregnant. You must have little income and few assets. Many families must also meet work and school requirements. Use the online TAFDC Eligibility Check to see if you might qualify for benefits.

EAEDC

EAEDC provides cash and other benefits to low-income elders, disabled and children. EAEDC is for families and individuals who do not qualify for other cash assistance programs. The amount of monthly benefits you get depends on your family size, your living situation, and your income. Use the online EAEDC Eligibility Check to see if you might qualify for benefits.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a need-based cash assistance program. SSI helps elders age 65 or older, and adults or children who are blind or disabled. SSI is for people with little income or resources. Use the online SSI Eligibility Check to see if you might qualify for benefits.

Veterans' Services

Veterans' Services (VS) is a public assistance program for Massachusetts wartime veterans and their families who need help paying for food, shelter, and other basic needs, and medical care. VS also provides referrals to employment, education, housing, substance abuse treatment, and other services to help veterans find a permanent solution to their problems.

Cash Benefits for Workers

Massachusetts workers who retire, become disabled, lose their jobs through no fault of their own, or cannot work because of job-related injuries may be eligible for cash benefits based on employment. Cash benefits for workers are not need-based, but may depend on employment status, how long you have worked, and how much you have earned.
Cash benefits for workers include:

Understanding a CORI Report and Your Rights As a Tenant

If you are applying to rent housing — whether it is subsidized housing or market-rate housing — the following people or entities may request your Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) from the state:
  • a public housing authority or government agency that oversees any federal or state-funded public or subsidized housing, 
  • an individual private landlord,
  • a management company that owns housing or works for an owner, or
  • a real estate agent that works for a landlord or management company.
Exactly what information is on the CORI report depends upon who is asking for it. For more, read: What information is in a CORI report?

($600) APT FOR RENT SPRINGFIELD MA - JULY 1, 2014

Small 1 BR, 1 BA on 2nd fl. of four-family for rent.
Hardwood floors
Separate LR/DR
Large kitchen
Enclosed private front porch
Secure building
Kensington Avenue in Springfield
Electric heat
First, last, sec. required ($1,800 required to move in)
Tenant pays for heat, hot water, and gas for cooking
Available 7/1/14
CORI check
References required
ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING AND NO PETS!

PLEASE PROVIDE US WITH information about you and/or your family dynamic.  We will contact you if we think you are a good fit.

The Surprising Facts Your Landlord Wishes You Knew

Most renters half (or whole) heartedly complain about their landlords, sometimes but not always really meaning the things we say. Landlords and the rental system seem to be necessary evils and we treat them as such, even though our landlords are only trying to do their jobs. Having a professional relationship with your landlord may just take paying your rent on time and being relatively quiet, but if you could have a great relationship with your landlord would you choose to?
Here are some surprising things your landlord wishes you knew and some ways to get above the landlord/tenant relationship.
1. Landlords want you to know that you are going to be around for a while. No landlord wants their tenants to skip out early on a lease, so they are looking for renters who might be around to renegotiate a lease. This saves them time advertising for new tenants and saves you the hassle of finding a new place to rent. Being financially stable and employed is definitely something landlords look out for, but they also want to know that you are living your life responsibly.

Apartment Rentals: The Dos and Don'ts of Looking for Cheap Apartment Rentals

Are you looking for an apartment to rent, but are you also on a tight budget? If so, most of your focus is going to be on finding cheap apartment rentals. As you know, these cheap rentals do have their pros and cons. When shopping around for living arrangements that you can afford, please keep these dos and don'ts in mind.
DO know that cheap rentals do exist. It is common for us to automatically assume that cheap apartment rentals are nothing but a dump. Yes, some of these units are less than appealing; however, you will come across a number of legitimate affordable units, rooms, and houses for rent. For example, lets say that a little old lady is renting a room out. She is more looking to have someone on the property with her for safety reasons than to say make a profit. For this reason, she is likely to charge a cheap rental rate.

Landlord and Tenant - A Contract in Real Estate

That is what it boils down to in renting property whether it is by lease or tenant-at-will. There are few things both parties should know.
First and foremost both parties need to be aware of the discrimination laws.
The federal Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against someone in the sale or rental of housing because of a person's race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability.
Additionally, each state may have their own laws, for example, the Massachusetts Fair Housing Act makes it illegal to discriminate against someone in the sale or rental of housing because of a person's race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, veteran status, age, handicap/disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, children, public assistance, children/lead paint, or public assistance recipient (i.e. Section 8).   
The federal laws apply to every state but it is important that you check with your state regarding their own housing laws.
Secondly check with your city or town and find out if a Certificate of Habitability (or Occupancy) is required by the Landlord.
I know some Landlords do not like the idea of getting one for fear of problems but in truth it benefits both the Landlord and the Tenant. It assures a safe and clean environment for a Tenant and it protects the Landlord by making them aware of potential issues and documenting the condition of the apartment. If there are problems with the Tenant in the future the city knows what the conditions of the premises were when the Tenant moved in.
Thirdly a good relationship begins with due diligence. Both Landlords and Tenants have had good and bad experiences when it comes to renting and as a result assumptions form and cause issues in renting apartments or worse can lead to legal issues by not following the Fair Housing Laws.
For example, some Landlords do not want to rent to students, Section 8 Recipients, or families with children because they worry about having trouble with timely rental payments or property damage or drawn out expensive evictions.
Some Tenants assume that Landlords can afford late or missed rents, that it is not their responsibility to care for the apartment it is the Landlords or the "It's not my house so I don't care - I won't be here forever" attitude takes over.
The truth is not everyone is the same.
Landlords you might get a Section 8 Tenant that stays for years without ever giving you a problem or you might get a well-paid professional couple whose sense of entitlement leads to complaints and late payments and for you a massive headache.
Tenants you bear sole responsibility for your reputation as a Tenant. It is something that will follow you everywhere. You should be thinking of this apartment as your home since you will be living in it regardless of the length of time. Assuming that Landlords have "all this money" is ridiculous. Most Landlords have mortgages to pay as well as all of the other major expenses that come with home ownership. The fact is you may be paying a lot less than the Landlord when it comes to the apartment.
So if Landlords and Tenants exercise due diligence in checking out the facts when renting and dispel predispositions and assumptions a good long term contract in real estate can be found.
By Gina S Soldano, AHWD, e-Pro®, SFR®, REALTOR®
Gina.soldano@era.com
ERA Millennium Real Estate


A Quick Guide to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Aka the Section 8 Voucher

If you're one of the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet, surely housing is at the top of your personal budget. Housing cost overburden is usually the primary obstacle in most American's personal financial planning.
The first housing assistance program that comes to mind for most people is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (also known as the Section 8 Program). The HCV program was established in 1974 as America worked to ensure the poor had a safe place to call home.
The housing assistance is what the housing industry refers to as a rent subsidy. In a nutshell, when a person has a Housing Choice Voucher, they choose his or her own home (within certain HUD imposed limits) and the HCV pays any rent amount in excess of 30% of the voucher holder's income. If a renter earns $2,000 per month, the voucher holder pays thirty percent of that, or $600, toward the rent. If the actual rent being charged by the landlord is $900, the voucher picks up the difference of $300.

Property Manager Education About Carbon Monoxide Detectors Is Critical

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible gas produced when any fuel such as natural gas, kerosene, wood, oil or even common barbecue charcoal is burned. At high levels without proper ventilation carbon monoxide can kill humans in a very short period of time, even after just a few minutes. Moreover, there is credible research that acute exposure or poisoning by CO can cause chronic health effects such as lethargy, severe headaches, amnesia, psychosis, concentration problems, memory impairment, personality alterations, and even Parkinson's disease. The American Medical Association states that CO is the primary cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States year after year. The federal Centers for Disease Control estimates that CO poisoning kills approximately 500 people annually and causes another approximately 20,000 injuries per year. Needless to say CO is a very important topic and issue for property managers to understand and embrace in order to act as professionally as possible and to protect their client's best interests.

Evicting a Tenant - Landlords Do Not Make These Mistakes

Landlords will eventually reach the day that a tenant will stop paying rent. When this happens the landlord is forced to evict the tenant from their property. The state law is very clear about what a landlord can and cannot do during an eviction. If you need to evict a tenant do not make these mistakes.
Threaten Tenant
Landlords are notably upset when tenants do not pay the rent. Do not let your anger put you in a situation in which you threaten your tenant. Threatening a tenant covers a wide range of scenarios. You cannot tell the tenant that you are going to have them arrested for not paying rent or tell them that you are going to throw all of their stuff out on the lawn on a certain day if they do not pay the rent.
Another tactic some landlords take is to constantly call the tenant. The landlord may try to call the tenant on their cell phone as well as call them at work. These constant telephone calls are considered harassment. Do not do this because the tenant can sue you for the harassment.
Turn off Utilities
Once you have filed the paperwork to evict a tenant you cannot legally disconnect any utility in the property. This includes utilities that are in your name. Some landlords will turn off utilities just to spite the tenant that is not paying the rent. They do this hoping that the tenant will move out if they do not have utilities and the landlord will regain access to the property. You can pay a steep fine if you do disconnect utilities so do not make this mistake.
Self Evictions
If you tenant has failed to pay the rent, the landlord cannot remove the tenants belongings from the property without the removal being done under the supervision of the Sheriff. If the landlord does the eviction themselves this is called self evictions. Self evictions are illegal. You are only allowed to remove the tenant's belongings from the property after you have gotten your writ of possession from the court and have scheduled a date with the Sheriff. Tenants can sue landlords who do a self eviction. Courts do not show any mercy to landlords who do self evictions and you will be in trouble if you do your own self eviction.
If your tenant fails to pay the rent on time, the best solution is to quickly file the eviction notice and have the tenant legally removed from your property.
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AVAILABLE NOW - HEBRON ST. NORTHEND SPRINGFIELD MA 3 BR/1BA - $675.00

Large three bedroom/one bath
1st floor of two family
Brand new kitchen floor.
Hardwood floors
***OIL Heat 
Tenant pays utilities




*CORI check
*First, last, security required to move in.
*$2,025 req. to move in.

***OIL HEAT CAN RANGE FROM $300-$500 PER MONTH.  IT IS USUALLY CASH ON DELIVERY IN ADDITION TO RENT.