Upcoming Training Opportunities for Homebuyers & Homeowners

Upcoming Training Opportunities

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.

Aug 16, 23, & 30, 2021
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Hybrid
Register Here

Sept 16, 23, & 30, 2021
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Hybrid
Register Here

Nov 1, 8, & 15, 2021
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Hybrid
Register Here

 

 

 

 

 


HomeSafe Post-Purchase Workshops

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.

Sept 7 & 14, 2021
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Virtual
Register Here

Dec 11, 2021
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
In-Person
Register Here

Feb 9 & 16, 2022
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Virtual
Register Here

Apr 30, 2022
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
In-Person
Register Here

 

 

 


Questions? Please contact:

Lindsey Richmond
Housing Counselor Case Manager
lrichmond@rcapsolutions.org
978-630-6639

Yvette Sanchez
Housing Counselor Case Manager
ysanchez@rcapsolutions.org
978-630-6631

RCAP Solutions Hires Residential Loan Fund Manager

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.

For additional information about the Home Modification Loan Program, please contact Ashur Gurbuz, Residential Loan Fund Manager at: (978) 630-6725, agurbuz@rcapsolutions.org or visit: http://www.rcapsolutions.org/home-modification-loan-program.

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.

###

Testimonial – Town of Grafton, Vermont

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.

The New Hampshire Drinking Water Festival is now live!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 23, 2021
CONTACT: Lara Hooper, (603) 271-4071
des.nh.gov
twitter.com/NHDES

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.

Photos courtesy of NHDES

Meet the RCAP Solutions Housing Experts

RCAP Solutions “Housing Help” Webinar Series

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.


Watch the recordings below!

Part 1: Webinar for Landlords & Property Owners

Part 2: Webinar for Tenants & Homeowners

Part 3: Webinar for the General Public

RCAP Solutions Is Here to Support Landlords and Tenants

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 webpage for 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.

For more information, visit www.rcapsolutions.org/landlord-services/, or contact us at RentalAssistance@rcapsolutions.org or by phone, 978-630-6602.

And for the latest updates, follow #ListAndLease and #RCAPHousingHelp on social media.


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 Virtual in 2021

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 lara.hooper@des.nh.gov.

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! 

Imagine a Day Without Water: Commit to a sustainable water future for all

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.

Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium Ending October 17

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.

If you are not located in Worcester County, visit: mahousinghelp.com

More info on resources here: 

Door Hangers for COVID-19 Prevention

This spring, approximately 20,000 door hangers were distributed throughout central Massachusetts, with information in English and Spanish on COVID-19 prevention and symptoms, as part of a public health initiative funded by the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts (HFCM).

RCAP Solutions had recently been awarded a five-year Synergy Grant from HFCM, which was just getting off the ground with a focus on private well health in the north central MA area. When COVID-19 hit, the HFCM board reached to identify additional ways they could help with the pandemic response. As a result, supplemental funding of $8,000 was provided to RCAP Solutions to help mitigate the impact of the current coronavirus public health crisis. The funds were intended to enable RCAP to provide communications support to local boards of health in the project’s service area and help strengthen relationships with BOH’s and facilitate the project moving forward with private well testing and regulation in the future.

With a goal of education, RCAP Solutions and north central Boards of Health quickly identified communications to elderly residents through a door hanger to be the best tool to promote public health and safety throughout the community. RCAP partnered with The Wachusett Medical Reserve Corps (WMRC), a local network of public health, medical, safety and other ancillary volunteers organized to improve the health and safety of their communities, who helped to identify what information would be most useful and coordinated the door hanger distribution. A team of roughly 10 volunteers crisscrossed the state from Winchendon to Webster, delivering the hangers to boards of health and housing authorities, schools and summer meal programs, libraries, take out restaurants, community and senior centers, police stations, and homeless shelters. The hangers were also provided to RCAP’s ten senior, disabled and family properties.

“This fits in with our mission to build safe, healthy and prepared communities,” stated Judie O’Donnell, RN MPH, WMRC Director. “I’m a firm believer in public education and promoting good health practices. Information about health has to be simplified and for many it’s not easy to understand. We’re trying to combat health illiteracy, it’s so important to get the word out to as many people as possible. There are so many who have language barriers, it’s important to have images that help to show the message. Door hangers work because people get nervous in difficult situations and this is a quick and creative way for people to know what to do in an emergency. There is a lot of misinformation out there. People need to know when to call 911, and not wait until it’s too late.”

The response to the door hangers has been very positive. “Resident coordinators and property managers were very receptive and were happy to have something to hand out,” said O’Donnell. “Residents were very appreciative and liked that it’s something they can leave on the door and have as a daily reminder.”