For Immediate Release - October 29, 2015

AG Healey Announces $1.66 Million in Grant Funding for Local Consumer Mediation Programs

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey announced that her office has awarded $1.66 million in grant funding for local consumer mediation programs across the state through the Local Consumer Aid Fund (LCAF) grants for new and existing grantees.

“These grants are part of our office’s commitment to be an advocate for all consumers across the state,” said AG Healey. “They allow us to continue to support these local nonprofit and municipal programs that help educate consumers and provide them with mediation services when needed.”

As part of its services to consumers, the AG's Office uses settlement funds to provide grants to a statewide network of Local Consumer Programs (LCP) and Face-to-Face Mediation (FTF) programs. These programs handle many consumer complaints in their own regions of the state where their local knowledge and community involvement enable them to provide effective assistance and services to help consumers resolve disputes.

The AG’s Office has provided funding to 19 LCPs and 16 FTF programs for fiscal year 2016.

The LCPs provide information to callers concerning state and federal consumer protection laws. The nonprofits also offer voluntary phone-based mediation services to consumers.

FTF programs support the resolution of consumer/landlord/tenant disputes. FTF programs receive cases from trial court and the Attorney General’s Office. Mediation sessions are held at small claims courts and at FTF program offices. 

In fiscal year 2015, LCAF funded programs mediated more than 12,000 cases, returning more than $7.5 million to consumers. For consumer tips and information please refer to the consumer information section of the Attorney General’s website.

The LCPs receiving funding this year are:

  • Berkshire Regional Housing Authority
  • City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing
  • Cambridge Consumers’ Council
  • Consumer Assistance Council in Cape Cod
  • Northwest District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Office
  • Consumer Protection Program of Community Action, Inc. in Haverhill
  • Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc.
  • Middlesex Community College in Lowell
  • Medford Consumer Advisory Commission
  • Consumer Assistance Office – Metro West Inc. in Natick
  • MASSPIRG Education Fund in Weymouth
  • City of New Bedford Department of Community Services
  • Newton-Brookline Consumer Office
  • Norfolk District Attorney’s Office Consumer Protection Division
  • South Shore Community Action Council Consumer Aid Program in Plymouth
  • Fall River Community Development Agency
  • City of Revere Local Consumer Affairs Office
  • Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information in Springfield

The FTF programs receiving funding this year are:

  • Berkshire Regional Housing Authority
  • North Shore Community Mediation Center in Beverly
  • Greater Brockton Center for Dispute Resolution
  • Metropolitan Mediation Services in Brookline
  • Community Dispute Settlement Center in Cambridge
  • Cape Cod Dispute Resolution Center, Inc.
  • The Mediation and Training Collaborative in Greenfield
  • North Essex Mediators of Community Action, Inc. in Haverhill
  • Mediation Services of North Central Massachusetts, Inc. in Leominster
  • Middlesex Community College in Lowell
  • MetroWest Mediation Services, Inc. in Framingham
  • City of New Bedford Department of Community Services
  • Somerville Mediation Program
  • Dispute Resolution Services in Springfield
  • Family Services of Central Massachusetts in Worcester
  • Just-a-Start in Cambridge

For more information about grant opportunities at the Attorney General’s Office, please visit www.mass.gov/ago/grants.

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