Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC)

HCEC logo 2014RCAP Solutions serves as the regional Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) for Worcester County and is the first point of contact for individuals in need of housing counseling, programs, and resources.

Our counselors can schedule one-on-one meetings and workshops for a variety of purposes including; program enrollment, referrals to community resources, and more. Click here for a map of our service area.

We provide support to tenants, landlords, homeowners, and homebuyers with a myriad of needs. In addition, we also offer financial assistance for those struggling with rent payments, as well as lending services for elderly and mobility impaired homeowners. Our full suite of programs are outlined below.

Financial Assistance

Difficulty paying your rent? There are financial assistance programs available to help. RCAP Solutions administers financial assistance programs which can provide eligible households with funding that can be used to help stay in current housing, obtain new housing, or otherwise avoid becoming homeless.




Homeownership Support

RCAP Solutions offers homeownership support before, during, and after you buy. We offer homeownership education for first-time buyers as well as support for new and existing homeowners.

First-Time Homebuyer Certification Classes

Earn your First-Time Homebuyer Certificate as required by HUD and CHAPA funding and other lenders for some low-interest, low down-payment mortgage products. Topics covered include credit worthiness, down payment savings, and knowledge about the steps in the process.

Pre-Purchase Counseling

Are you ready to buy the home of your dreams? RCAP Solutions can assist you in finding mortgage programs and ensuring that you are financially ready. This individual counseling will help you make informed decisions as you buy your first home.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

RCAP Solutions can refer you to grant options or low/no-interest loans to help you make sure you have enough money to purchase your home.
HomeSafe Post-Purchase Classes

Our counselors continue to provide support to new homeowners and existing homeowners. The challenges of homeownership do not end after the closing. By attending RCAP Solutions' HomeSafe Post-Purchase workshop you will sharpen your knowledge and become equipped with the necessary skills to maintain your home and finances.

This course will successfully fufill the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP)'s ONE Mortgage Program requirements for post-purchase education.

To register for an in-person or online class, check out our upcoming events calendar.

Post-Purchase Counseling

In addition to our group classes, RCAP Solutions can provide one-on-one counseling for new and existing homeowners. Our counselors can assist with:

  • Budgeting skills & maintaining a good credit file
  • Addressing home maintenance & repairs
  • How to keep your home safe from fire & theft
  • Home, life, & disability insurance basics
  • Refinancing options
  • And more...

Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP)

This lending program provides loans to fund necessary changes to keep elder homeowners, individuals with disabilities, and families of children with disabilities in their own homes. Modifications can include ramps, stair-lifts, bathroom/kitchen mods, and much more. For more information or to download an application, click here.
Financial Capability Workshops

Our housing counselors can assist you in developing a budget that is built on your current financial picture and help you work towards your financial goals. We can demonstrate how credit can assist you in reaching your financial dreams. We offer group classes and one-on-one counseling.

To register for an upcoming Financial Capability workshop, check out our upcoming events calendar.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

If you are currently behind or concerned you will fall behind on your mortgage, you don't have to face it alone. Homeowners facing foreclosure can access one-on-one foreclosure prevention counseling with us. We will assess your situation and offer guidance on how best to avoid default or foreclosure. Our certified housing counselors will advocate for the best resolution possible. If you are facing forclosure, we can help. Contact us today.

Tenant Resources

We can provide information on rights and responsibilities tailored to help renters function independently in the private, non-subsidized housing market, including:

  • Information on security deposits, leases, and fair housing
  • Help with resolving disputes
  • Access to information on lead hazards and code violations
  • Housing search strategies
  • Help with applying for financial assistance
  • Referrals to community resources

Property Owner & Landlord Resources

We offer rental property owners and managers valuable information on landlord rights and responsibilities to maximize their investments, including:

  • Landlord Training: How to Be a Good Landlord
    • This training and certification also satisfies the requirements that many lenders require for multi-family home loans and down payment assistance programs
  • Information on lead hazards and code violations
  • Resolving tenant disputes
  • Massachusetts tenancy laws
  • Security deposit laws
  • Eviction laws/rights

Specialized Services

RCAP Solutions can assist individuals and families with specialized services which includes; assistance with applying for emergency funding, gaining access to mental health and substance abuse centers, and obtaining public benefits and legal help. This intensive, personalized case management is pivotal in engaging households and stabilizing them in their communities. Click here for more information.

Find Housing

For those who need assistance navigating a sometimes complicated market, there are resources to help you find and keep safe housing that you can afford. RCAP Solutions has identified several listing services with available apartments in the area.

Click here for more information about housing search resources.

Contact Us

If you need immediate assistance, please contact our HCEC team by phone or email. Our office is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (closed 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM for lunch).

If you are looking to register for a First-Time Homebuyer class, HomeSafe Post-Purchase class, or a Financial Capability course, click here for our calendar of upcoming workshops.

Stay In Touch!

Join our mailing list to receive timely updates about our programs and upcoming workshops.