Good Neighbor Energy Fund
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund assists people who do not qualify for state fuel assistance but have limited incomes. (800) 262-1320.
There are agencies across the state that may assist those who cannot afford the cost of utilities. Heatline staff will tell you about the programs available and tell you if you qualify. (800) 392-6066.
The Homestead Act might protect your home from creditors in the case of bankruptcy but you must file the required paperwork. Visit the Registry of Deeds for your county. Hampshire County Registry of Deeds. 33 King St, Northampton. (413) 584-3637.
Housing Discrimination Project
The Housing Discrimination Project is a nonprofit organization that provides education, counseling and legal services to anyone who has been illegally denied housing. If you feel you have been discriminated against, don’t hesitate to contact them. 57 Suffolk St, Holyoke. (413) 539-9796, (800) 675-7309.
Housing Services of Franklin and North Quabbin
Housing Services of Franklin and North Quabbin helps families who are homeless or in danger of losing their housing to find safe affordable housing. They can also provide information on tenant and landlord rights, comprehensive case management, outreach, mediation and budget counseling. In Franklin County: 393 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (413) 774-2318, ext. 109. In North Quabbin: 359 Main St, Athol. (978) 575-0818.
Public Housing and Rental Assistance
Massachusetts residents can apply for subsidized housing through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. The Section 8 Housing & Rental Choice program allows families to pay part of their rent with a federal voucher. Vouchers are in high demand and many towns have waiting lists, but those in need are still encouraged to apply. The Section 8 application can be found online through the Department of Housing & Community Development.
To apply for public housing, you must visit the local housing authority. Click here to find out where your local housing authority is located.
In addition, the agencies listed under “Miscellaneous Needs” may also have information about local housing assistance programs.
If you are receiving state benefits: TAFDC; Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled and Children; SSI; MassHealth, Food Stamps; Fuel Assistance, etc Verizon can reduce your monthly service fees. (800) 870-9999.
Interfaith Homeless Shelter
From November through April, this emergency shelter provides dinner, breakfast and beds for 20 people. The shelter also has shower and laundry facilities. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and guests must leave by 7:00 a.m. 43 Center Street, Northampton.
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
If you have a child and experience homelessness, you may qualify for Emergency Assistance, which is an emergency family shelter program. Even if you don’t qualify for the program, there are a limited number of rooms available for families who are in need but don’t meet the income requirements.
People without children can try for placements in individual shelters. Contact the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless, (866) 205-1700, or one of the First Call for Help phonelines.
Servicenet, a human services agency in Northampton, manages emergency, transitional, and permanent housing shelters. The emergency shelters have small capacities and some might have waiting lists, but it doesn’t hurt to try. (413)585-1300. http://www.servicenet.org/