Almost immediately after the pandemic hit, Housing Assistance established the Workforce Housing Relief Fund to provide urgent assistance with past due rent or mortgage payments or other housing-related expenses for current, year-round Cape Cod and Island residents who are losing income due to the coronavirus.
The fund provides an essential safety net for households who don’t qualify for public assistance and who earn up to 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Barnstable County, Nantucket County, or Dukes County. A priority is given to clients impacted the pandemic or the related economic downturn.
Why the Relief Fund is Needed
Even before this crisis, many low- to mid-wage employees were paying almost half of their income on housing. Workers can’t absorb several weeks of missing wages due to layoffs, furloughs, or closures of their business.
Since mid-March, Housing Assistance has witnessed a a record spike in the number of households seeking rent and mortgage assistance to stay in their homes. Compared to the same period last year, Housing Assistance has witnessed a 325% increase in foreclosure prevention requests and a 413% increase in requests for help with past-due rent.
We anticipate this demand will only grow with the extra $600 in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program ending in July and unemployment benefits ending in early December.
How the Fund Helps
Rent or mortgage payments for the average workforce family on Cape Cod is between $1,400 and $2,000 per month. The Workforce Housing Relief Fund’s goal is to assist households with up to three months’ rent or mortgage payments (up to $5,000) for people impacted by COVID-19. Funds distributed to eligible households will go directly to third parties (landlords, banks) to ensure they are used as intended.
If you need assistance, please contact us at 508-771-5400 or email@example.com or start the application process by filling out the online form below.
Why Housing Assistance
With a 46-year history of providing essential housing services and solutions to families and individuals on Cape Cod and the Islands, we have the expertise, resources and programs in place to ensure clients get the help they need to stay stably housed.
In addition to the Workforce Housing Relief Fund, we manage the state-funded RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) Program as well as the newly-created ERMA (Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance) Program. These public programs help prevent homelessness in our region.
Our application is completely confidential and our intake staff can help you navigate the process and determine your eligibility for federal, state, and privately funded programs that we oversee. Our staff can also direct you to additional support and they work closely with external agencies to ensure those we serve can achieve housing stability.
How You Can Support the Workforce Relief Fund
Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, you can directly ensure our neighbors in need have the housing they need to remain safe and healthy during these uncertain times.
Donations will go directly to the Workforce Housing Relief Fund which provides emergency assistance to households who don’t qualify for public programs, including RAFT and ERMA.
Housing Assistance has set a goal of raising $1.5 million for the Workforce Housing Relief Fund. As of mid-August, we are more than halfway towards that goal, having raised $875,000 thanks to the generous support of donors like you!
Working with Municipalities
As of mid-August, the Towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth, and Brewster have provided funding for Housing Assistance to implement rental assistance programs for residents in their communities who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
With a strong track record of working with municipalities; a proven financial assistance program already in place; and an understanding of local needs and available resources, we are well-suited to administer a rental assistance program in all municipalities on Cape Cod and the Islands.
If you’re an individual, community group, business owner, or municipal official interested in learning how you can work with Housing Assistance to raise funds for our Workforce Housing Relief Fund, contact Chief Development Officer Anne Van Vleck at firstname.lastname@example.org.