News for June 2021
5/28/2021: Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Division of Banks
BOSTON — Today, the Baker-Polito Administration’s Division of Banks (Division) awarded over $2.5 million in grants to fund first-time homeownership education programs and foreclosure prevention counseling centers throughout the Commonwealth. The funds awarded through the Chapter 206 grant program went to a total of 21 organizations including 10 foreclosure prevention regional centers and 11 consumer counseling organizations.
Chapter 206 grants assist homeowners who are often experiencing some type of financial hardship caused by either a loss of or reduction in income or a medical issue as well as prospective homebuyers who are determining if homeownership is right for them. The Division administers funding of these grants with fees associated with the licensing of mortgage loan originators. Funded organizations served over 9,000 Massachusetts consumers and homeowners in 2020.
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On May 10th, HRA was awarded 15 Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) from HUD. These vouchers are for individuals or families that are homeless, at risk of homelessness, recently homeless, or fleeing or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking. These vouchers will be issued based on direct referrals from the Continuum of Care’s Coordinated Entry list. HUD is providing a one-time service fee per voucher to provide assistance with services such as housing search, security and utility deposit, rental application or holding fees, landlord incentives, moving expenses or essential household items. HUD has acknowledged many of the obstacles of getting vouchers issued quickly and has provided waivers to overcome these obstacles. Some of these include having a separate waitlist specifically for EHV, having separate preferences for EHV than our regular Section 8 waitlist, allowing income and identity verification to be self-certified until formal documentation can be received, and reducing eligibility requirements. These vouchers will begin July 1st, 2021. Please reach out to Katelyn Reardon for more information at KReardon@fcrhra.org.