Over the past week, Housing Assistance Corporation has acted swiftly to shift its operations to ensure the health and safety of its staff while still being able to deliver essential services to low- and middle-income residents on Cape Cod and the Islands.
“I’m proud of the efforts our staff have made to keep serving clients while observing precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Peter Muise, chair of Housing Assistance’s Board of Directors.
“It is more important than ever that we serve our clients and ensure they have access to the housing they need to stay healthy, heed public calls for social distancing and avoid impacting others in our region,” added Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta.
Clients seeking access to services are asked to either call 508-771-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Housing Assistance is asking the public to donate to its Homeless Prevention Fund at www.haconcapecod.org. Funds raised will go directly to keeping people in their homes and off the streets due to economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing Assistance has moved to a virtual model where it is supporting clients online or by phone, and in-person, only if necessary. The agency’s clients range from homeless individuals living in the streets and woods of Cape Cod to families living in its four homeless shelters to households who may be at risk of homelessness to our region’s workforce seeking to become first-time homebuyers.
The list of changes made by Housing Assistance as a result of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic includes:
- 24-hour shelter staff at Angel House in Hyannis, Carriage House in North Falmouth, Scattered Sites in Hyannis, and Village at Cataumet in Bourne have developed protocols to maintain a clean, safe environment while continuing operations.
- Housing Assistance’s Energy Department is continuing emergency services and remaining connected to its clients who have requested or are in the middle of an energy audit and weatherization services.
- The agency’s Homeless Outreach Team is helping clients via cell and online. They continue to work with community partners virtually, including Duffy Health Center, St. Joseph’s House, Vinfen, local police departments, local food pantries and more.
- Financial literacy classes as well as reverse mortgage and foreclosure counseling are continuing online using Zoom.
- Housing Assistance’s homeless prevention, RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), and front desk colleagues are working from home. The agency made technological modifications so staff can take calls and help clients virtually and connect them to the services they need to get housed or stay housed.
- Housing Assistance’s Leased Housing department, which oversees nearly 1,200 housing vouchers, is mostly working from home and will continue to help tenants and landlords.
- Construction at the Lofts at 57, a mixed-income housing development consisting of 8 apartments on Ridgewood Avenue in Hyannis, is continuing as contractors are able.
- Housing Assistance’s Maintenance Department is on-site with protective gear, ensuring all of its facilities are properly cleaned. They will only respond to emergency calls for repairs.
- Property management, Housing Assistance’s Cape Community Real Estate division, and its Housing Development department are working remotely and continuing as they normally would.
More information at www.HAConCapeCod.org.