For nearly half of the 17 years he has owned a year-round rental on the Lower Cape, Matt Pitta has had the ideal tenant. “She’s been excellent, but like so many impacted by the pandemic, her hours and her employment became an issue,” Pitta said.
With the events of the past 19 months, Pitta explained that his tenant started having difficulties paying her rent. “The Cape housing market is very difficult so the last thing I wanted was to see her end up on the street by no fault of her own,” he said.
Pitta, who is familiar with our work — he’s hosted several of our Telethon for Hope fundraisers over the years – reached out to our office, seeking financial assistance on behalf of his tenant. In such cases, Housing Assistance can support a landlord as long as the tenant provides consent.
Admittedly, Pitta said, the pandemic has been difficult for both renters as well as small landlords like himself who rely on timely payments to maintain their finances. “Landlords like myself can’t pay our bills until we get the rent,” he said. “You run into a catch-22 and the bills we have can’t get paid. There’s certainly a stress factor to it all.”
That stress, he said, was lessened, both for himself and his tenant thanks to the financial assistance programs we administer which were able to help his tenant pay the back rent he was owed as well as a stipend for future rent.
Both Pitta and his tenant were grateful for the lengths our staff, especially Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) Director Heidi Archibald, went to provide critical assistance during such an unsettling time. “She was tremendous and everyone there was very easy to work with,” Pitta said. “The work they did helped ease all my concerns and their compassion was also impressive.”
Pitta said he knows of another local landlord who had a similar experience working with Housing Assistance. “Clearly, what Housing Assistance has been doing is very critical for renters and small landlords on the Cape,” he said.
Are you a landlord whose tenant has fallen behind on rent due to the pandemic?
Fill out the online application here. Please note, that your tenant must be residing in the unit and you must have your tenant’s consent in order to qualify.