With more than $1.5 million to distribute to qualified, year-round residents, across the Cape and Islands, Housing Assistance Corporation has launched an online application for clients in need of rental and mortgage assistance.
Available at www.haconcapecod.org, the application enables clients to complete one form to access multiple different public or private funding programs that can be used to keep them safely housed.
When compared to the same period last year, since the pandemic started in mid-March, Housing Assistance has witnessed a 325 percent increase in foreclosure prevention requests and a 413 percent increase in requests for help with past-due rent.
“With Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance ending this month and the eviction moratorium set to end in mid-October, many people who have never had to ask for help will do so soon,” said Housing Assistance CEO Alisa Magnotta. “We are advocating for funding for the entire Cape and Islands region and demonstrating that Housing Assistance has region-wide solutions that efficiently and effectively serve people whose housing is in danger today.”
Public sources of funding accessible to Housing Assistance include RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) and ERMA (Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance), a new state fund which was created this year to provide direct funding to eligible households that have suffered financial hardship as a result of the State of Emergency put into place to combat the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to these state sources, for nearly three decades, Housing Assistance has administered a Private Homeless Prevention program which provides one-time emergency financial assistance for individuals and families who don’t qualify for public funding but need support to stay in their homes. In April, Housing Assistance created the Workforce Housing Relief Fund, an expansion of its Private Prevention program to cover up to three months’ rent or mortgage payments for anyone financially impacted by the pandemic.
Housing Assistance has also received funding from the towns of Barnstable and Yarmouth to administer rental assistance programs for residents of those towns.
“We can make our public dollars go further by leveraging our organization’s infrastructure and efficiencies,” Magnotta said. “Housing Assistance already has the staff, technology, processes, and expertise in place so that we can take action to assist residents in need immediately.”
Residents who need support with their rent or mortgage payments should contact Housing Assistance at 508-771-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also begin the process by reviewing eligibility criteria and filling out Housing Assistance’s new streamlined online application at www.haconcapecod.org.