RCAP Solutions’ Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) offers many workshops and trainings which are designed to support and educate tenants, potential homebuyers, and homeowners on purchasing and maintaining a home. We offer both virtual and in-person events.
Over the next several months, we will be offering First-Time Homebuyer education as well as Post-Purchase classes for individuals who recently bought a home. Stay tuned to our calendar of events as more workshops become available.
First-Time Homebuyer Workshops
In this MassHousing approved, HUD and CHAPA certified workshop, attendees will learn about programs available to assist income-eligible first time homebuyers; understand the steps in the homebuying process; meet with professionals who will discuss what to look for in a homebuying team; and receive the necessary certification required by many first time homebuyer programs. Check out the flyer below for more information.
Congratulations, you bought a house! Now what? 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. Check out the flyer below for more information.
Supporting Neighborhood Opportunity in Massachusetts (SNO Mass) aims to assist families with housing vouchers in moving to communities with high-quality schools, parks and open spaces, and other amenities that help children grow and thrive. SNO Mass provides important benefits to landlords by helping connect our eligible, pre-screened tenants with available rental properties in these desirable neighborhoods. By participating in SNO Mass, we can help landlords meet their financial goals as a property owner and provide families with a place they are proud to call home.
Program benefits for landlords include:
Assurance of prompt payment of rent subsidy each month
Protection from tenant financial hardships as the voucher can absorb income loss
$500 signing bonus + additional $500 after the first year if you renew the lease with the original SNO Mass tenant, have another SNO Mass participant move in, or need to make repairs to the unit that exceed the security deposit
Potentially higher rent subsidy than you have been offered by other housing authorities in your area
Ready pool of pre-screened applicants who have access to financial assistance to help them settle into their new community
Decreased vacancy rates and reduced tenant turnover and related expenses
Single point of contact at our agency for any questions/issues that may arise
We have dedicated staff to help make the lease-up process as smooth as possible, and to reduce delays between application and move-in. We will work with tenants in advance to ensure they understand the responsibilities of maintaining their homes and lease obligations. Our staff continue to check in with families during the first two years in their new neighborhood, and property owners are also welcome to reach out at any time.
If you are a landlord who has available units, we would like to schedule a time to talk about this program with you and your property management team. Click here to see if your unit is located in a designated SNO Mass Opportunity Area and check out our SNO Mass FAQs.
We hope you will consider participating in SNO Mass, and becoming part of this important work, while at the same strengthening your bottom line.
RCAP Solutions is pleased to announce the addition of Ashur Gurbuz as Residential Loan Fund Manager, providing Home Modification Loan Program services to residents in the Central Massachusetts region. Mr. Gurbuz comes to RCAP Solutions with a diverse background in lending, banking, real estate, customer service, and management gives him a solid understanding of this critical housing program and the challenges that his clients may face.
Gurbuz served as a Loan Officer for JG Wentworth Home Lending, where he provided a variety of housing loans to his customers, providing step by step guidance and customer service throughout the entire process of the loan. He also has experience as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, where he assisted customers in buying or selling real estate, acted as a trusted resource for answers about the real estate process and supported customers through the closing process. Prior to this, he was a Branch Manager at Santander Bank where he received the “Top Performer Award” for customer satisfaction, and Assistant Vice President at Bank of America, where he was ranked nationally for his sales and relationship management skills.
The Home Modification Loan Program distributes financing to disabled persons and their families, to make structural and accessibility improvements to homes, allowing individuals to remain safely independent. Funds are delivered through a state-funded loan program of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission in collaboration with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC). RCAP Solutions is the direct administrator of this program for all of Worcester County and parts of Norfolk and Middlesex Counties.
“Mr. Gurbuz is a great complement to the Home Modification Loan Program,” said Lovette Chislom, RCAP Solutions Director of Housing Counseling & Financial Services. “I believe it is critical for our lending staff to be able to draw on their experience to help ensure the satisfaction of our clients. This program has experienced a high volume of interest this year as caregiving families would like to keep their loved ones at home due to concerns around the pandemic. Ashur’s compassionate and engaging personality will help our clients to feel at ease and supported during this difficult time.”
Ashur Gurbuz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Assumption College in Worcester. Mr. Gurbuz is a licensed Real Estate Agent, a HUD Certified Housing Counselor, and a holds a Mortgage License, which makes him well qualified to handle a variety of homeownership issues that may arise during the lending and construction phases of the program.
The Home Modification Loan Program is part of The RCAP Solutions Housing Consumer Education Center, the organization’s front door to the public for all housing and emergency assistance programs. This includes financial and economic assistance programs such as Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA), and HomeBASE. There are also education and training programs, such as first-time home buyer and financial empowerment classes, and counseling support including pre and post homebuyer services and landlord/tenant assistance.
About RCAP Solutions:
RCAP Solutions is a thriving integrated community development corporation working with a multi-faceted suite of services and opportunities. Established in 1969, RCAP Solutions’ mission is to foster personal and public self-reliance and improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and the communities in which they live. For more information, please visit www.rcapsolutions.org.
Check out this testimonial from the chair of Grafton, Vermont’s Water/Wastewater Study Commission!
RCAP Solutions assisted the town in completing two surveys of their drinking water quality and wastewater management. Because the town has no central community system, residents rely entirely on individual water sources and wastewater disposal systems.
Through the Vermont Department of Health, our staff was able to acquire drinking water test kits, at no charge, for residents who rely on private wells. Fortunately, the water tests did not identify any contamination issues.
Nonetheless, RCAP Solutions encouraged the town to take a closer look at high-priority properties throughout the area. The town continues to improve their water and wastewater infrastructure, with RCAP providing strategic guidance and recommendations for state and federal funding opportunities.
This work is made possible because of the generous support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Join us for the 2021 Virtual Drinking Water Festival!
Concord, NH – Over the past three decades, thousands of students have learned about protecting water at the New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival. This year the Festival is virtual and kicks off today! The 2021 Virtual Festival also includes the third annual Poetry Contest for third, fourth and fifth graders, making this a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Math) educational opportunity.
The 2021 Virtual Festival is packed with over 40 videos and activities that connect with student’s daily lives and explore how to keep water clean. Major themes include the water cycle, watersheds, groundwater, wildlife, the human water cycle, Water Heroes (career fields) and the Poetry Contest. Engaging lessons range from calculating a personal water footprint to finding costly silent toilet leaks and learning how caddisflies stabilize streambeds against erosion. The online lessons and activities are designed for students in third through fifth grades, but with the timeless importance of clean water, students in other grades (and adults) can benefit from them as well. All materials are free and openly available. Students participating in the Poetry Contest should submit entries by April 30, 2021.
The Virtual Water Festival and Poetry Contest is now available at our new website www.nhwaterfestival.org. There, you will find the virtual lessons and also information about how your school can participate in the free in-person annual festival in May 2022.
As a member of the New Hampshire Drinking Water Coalition, RCAP Solutions is a proud partner of this event.
In the spring of 2021, RCAP Solutions hosted a 3-part Zoom webinar series for tenants, homeowners, landlords, and all other interested parties. Attendees heard from the experts about our robust housing programs including; emergency rental/mortgage assistance, subsidized housing options, and much more. Participants had the ability to ask questions and the presentations were made available afterwards on our YouTube channel.
Given the unprecedented circumstances that landlords have faced over the past year, RCAP Solutions wants to ensure that you and in turn, your tenants, feel supported during these times. We offer a wide variety of programs which assist income-eligible tenants with paying their rent. These programs, designed with both parties in mind, pay subsidies directly to the landlord.
Our flagship program, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, is currently seeking participants who have available units to lease. All landlords are encouraged to participate, including those currently renting to HCV tenants! By participating in the HCV Program, we can help you meet your financial goals as a property owner and provide families with a place they are proud to call home.
Why should you participate?
Many landlords participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program because payment is guaranteed. Landlords do not have to worry about late or missed payments for the voucher amount since it is paid directly from RCAP Solutions.
Some of the benefits of participating in this program include…
You will get timely and dependable payments from RCAP Solutions
You will get your full rental payment
You will receive regular inspections
You may request annual reasonable rent increases
You have the opportunity to help low-income, elderly, disabled, and veteran households, as well as families with children, by providing affordable housing
New/Prospective Landlords – How to Participate:
Becoming an RCAP Solutions landlord is simple! To become a landlord with the HCV Program, you will need an HCV tenant.
To get your property seen by HCV families, you can market your unit with us! We have partnered with GoSection8, which allows you to list your rental units online. Listings are available to potential Housing Choice Voucher families seeking housing in the private market. To list your available units with us, visit rcap.gosection8.com and select “List Your Property”.
If a voucher family requests to rent your property; conduct your usual screening, fill out and submit the request for tenancy approval (RFTA) – which the voucher family will have, and prepare the property for inspection. You and the voucher family will sign your lease and then you and RCAP Solutions will sign the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract.
Current Landlords – How to Participate:
Landlords who are currently renting to HCV tenants are also encouraged to list their available and upcoming units at rcap.gosection8.com. In addition, property owners should check out our webpagefor a list of additional programs.
Need assistance with listing? We’re happy to list your available units on your behalf. Please download and complete the Property Listing Form by clicking here.
We have dedicated staff to help make the lease-up process as smooth as possible and to ensure inspections and move-ins take place in a timely manner. We will work with tenants in advance to ensure they understand the responsibilities of maintaining their homes and lease obligations. Our staff will continue to check in with families and property owners are welcome to reach out at any time.
We understand that times are difficult for both landlords and tenants. We hope you will consider participating in the Section 8 program and become a part of this important work, while at the same time meeting your financial goals. Our team has a long history of supporting both parties through our programs and services. If you have questions related to your rights/responsibilities as a landlord, we’re here to help.
Check out our informational webinar for landlords!
This spring, RCAP Solutions hosted a 3-part Zoom webinar series about our robust housing programs including; emergency rental/mortgage assistance, subsidized housing options, and much more. The first webinar, which provided information for landlords and property owners, can be found below.
The New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival will be offered virtually in 2021!
The New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival has educated and inspired fourth-graders to conserve and protect our water resources for 27 years. To keep everyone safe, the 2021 festival is moving online. As an added benefit, to support teachers, students and parents, these free online resources will be available from March through July.
Major themes include the water cycle, watersheds, groundwater, wildlife and the human water cycle. Lessons connect with student’s daily lives and explore how they can keep water clean. The online lessons and activities are designed for students in grades 3-5, but with the timeless importance of clean water, students in other grades will also benefit from them. Student in grades 3-5 are invited to participate in this year’s Water Poetry Contest. This is a great opportunity to incorporate the language arts and water science.
As a member of the New Hampshire Drinking Water Coalition, RCAP Solutions is a proud partner of this event.
The Drinking Water Festival’s new website is currently under construction, but it can be found and bookmarked for the virtual event this spring at nhwaterfestival.org. If you would like to learn more, please contact Lara Hooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of NHDES
The New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival is sponsored by the New Hampshire Drinking Water Coalition in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to encourage future leaders and scientists to learn about one of the world’s most precious resources: water!
This year, our country faced an enormous public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this emergency, water and wastewater systems kept the water flowing in homes, hospitals, and essential businesses. This crisis demonstrated the critical role that water and wastewater systems play in their communities, protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, and making a healthy economy possible. It is easy to imagine how much worse the pandemic would have been without widespread access to water infrastructure. Without reliable drinking water and sanitation, Americans would be unable to stay safe and limit the spread. In communities with inadequate water and wastewater infrastructure, the public health consequences have been dire.
Today, we Imagine a Day Without Water. It’s a day to pause and notice the way that water systems impact our lives and communities, and commit to ensuring a sustainable water future for generations to come. What would your day be like if you couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, or if you flushed the toilet and wastewater didn’t go anywhere? What would happen to restaurants, hospitals, firefighters, farms, breweries, or the hundreds of industries that depend on water?
Millions of Americans take water service for granted every day. Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. Washing our hands regularly is one of the most important steps to take to limit the spread of coronavirus, and we usually don’t stop to think about the impressive infrastructure and treatment required to make sure the water comes out when you open the tap, or safely returns water to the environment from your sink. But the truth is, our water and wastewater systems are getting older – some were installed a century ago – and everyone should be concerned with the vulnerability of those systems.
While we continue to enjoy high quality and reliable water service now, maintaining that level of service is going to be harder and harder as America’s water infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Meanwhile, new threats from record rainfalls, flooding, toxic algae, drought and wildfires threaten our critical water systems. There are even communities, especially in many rural places across the country, that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place.
As we look at ways to help lift our economy out of the recession, investing in water infrastructure is a winning solution. Investing in water creates cascading economic benefits, strengthening American competitiveness, raising GDP, creating jobs and increasing wages. Investing in water provides a path to economic recovery. Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for everyone to get educated about our local water systems and raise awareness with our elected leaders. We need leadership at every level to work together to ensure a reliable water future for generations to come. Investing in water is investing in a future where no American will have to imagine a day without water.
As the eviction and foreclosure moratorium in Massachusetts comes to an end this Saturday, October 17th, we want to ensure that tenants and homeowners know their rights as well as the resources available to them to assist with rent and mortgage payments.
If you are struggling with rent or mortgage payments because of COVID-19, there are eviction protections and financial programs available to help.
RCAP Solutions offers Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA): Funding for Worcester county households impacted by the Coronavirus crisis and state of emergency. The ERMA program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development and provides up to $10,000 of direct funding to eligible households.
Other Funds available include Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT): A program funded by MA Department of Housing and Community Development that can provide eligible families in our service area with financial assistance to help prevent homelessness.. For more information, please call our RAFT/ERMA support line at 978.630.6771, email HCEC@rcapsolutions.org, or click here. To apply online, please click here.