Program Description

The Housing Consumer Education Initiative (HCEC) was established by the Massachusetts State Legislature in FY 2001 to provide information and services for housing consumers and providers in obtaining tenancies, and to reduce the incidence of homelessness and displacement through the preservation of tenancies.

How it works:

The HCEC initiative supports regional delivery of non-duplicative housing information and assistance services throughout the Commonwealth.

HCEC services are targeted to (non-Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) served) housing consumers, which include: tenants, homeowners, rental property owners, and potential tenants and homebuyers. HCEC providers identify and refer clients to all appropriate resources.

The network of HCEC providers established by this initiative educates families and individuals, through information and referral services, on how to acquire the necessary tools to access appropriate services to meet their specific housing needs and encourage people to become or remain self-sufficient. Through education and information, people learn the tools necessary to attain permanent improvements in their lives. Each HCEC provides services including, but not limited to:

training on issues affecting housing (e.g. landlord/ tenants rights and responsibilities; lead paint; code violations; homebuyers education/ mortgage assistance programs; housing search strategies, etc.)
education concerning housing issues
mediation/negotiation assistance
inter- (and intra) region coordination and referral
outreach (including the preparation and distribution of printed materials)
other programs designed to meet specific or unique housing needs in the nine program regions.

Who is eligible:

The nine (9) Regional Non-Profit Housing Agencies.

Application process:

Five-year grant application process.

For more information:

Please call the Division of Public Housing & Rental Assistance at (617) 573-1150.