Giving Tuesday

Today may be Cyber Monday, but please remember that Christmas isn’t all about consumerism: Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesdayâ„¢ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.

#GivingTuesday inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season, showing that the world truly gives as good as it gets.

If you are planning to make a donation to a non profit organization this holiday season, please consider RCAP Solutions. The need is real and continues to grow.  Over 2,000 families are now living in hotels across the Commonwealth. RCAP Solutions works with hundreds of families each year, providing the necessary stabilization services for those in need, in order to keep them safe, healthy and in permanent housing.

Visit our website for more information: http://www.rcapsolutions.org/donate/

RCAP Featured in WBJ Article on Sequestration

RCAP Solutions President & CEO Karen A. Koller KollerWBJdiscusses the difficult impact that Sequestration has had on the organization and our clients in the most recent edition of the Worcester Business Journal.

Photo caption:  Karen Koller of RCAP Solutions: Sequestration cuts impact those who serve “people in need.”

Click here for full article:  Central Mass. Firms Feel Sting Of Federal Budget Cuts

Important Information For RCAP Solutions Clients

As of September 20, 2013, all RCAP Solutions Housing Assistance and Client Service Program Representatives will be located in our Worcester office at: 12 East Worcester Street, Worcester, MA 01604.

With our recent headquarters expansion in the City of Worcester, RCAP Solutions is consolidating its Gardner Corporate Office to one floor.

While our Gardner office will remain open, there will no longer be any client intake or housing representatives available for counseling for walk-in assistance at this location. As this location will now house administrative staff only, we ask that all visitors please make advance plans as all guests will be seen by appointment only. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

Please note, all program representative’s email and phone numbers have not changed.  For more information and directions to our Worcester Office, please contact your Program Representative directly or visit the Contact Page on our website.

If you have a need for special accommodations, please contact your program representative directly.  There is a designated RCAP Solutions dropbox located inside the front door of the Gardner entrance for your convenience for paperwork and other communications needs.

For more information, please call 800-488-1969 or visit www.rcapsolutions.org.

 

Help shape the Commonwealth’s housing policy!

MassHousing Invitation 2 092313[3]As a member of the North Central Massachusetts Community Reinvestment Act Coalition, we are pleased to invite you to join us at this upcoming event and help shape the Commonwealth’s housing policy!

Please join the Homeownership Center of North Central Massachusetts and the North Central Ma CRA Coalition for a town hall forum with MassHousing’s Tom Gleason—who wants to hear your thoughts on the opportunities and challenges of providing low and moderate-income housing to our region.

Tom Gleason is a career housing professional with more than 36 years of experience in mortgage lending, community development and bond finance. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing). 

Click on the image to the left to view the invitation in its full size.

RSVP to Flor Cintron at fcintron@twincitiescdc.org or call her at (978) 342.9561.

Our HCEC Counselors Receive New Certifications

HCEC in Training

Congratulations to the members of our Housing Consumer Education Center Team on their recent certifications!

Pictured is Robert Ochoa, Housing Counselor Specialist; Madeline Cotto, HCEC Coordinator and Pam Moshier, Chief Consumer Education Officer and Director of HCEC at the NeighborWorks Training Institute in Philadelphia PA.

Robert and Maddie are now certified in Homebuyer Educaton Methods as Trainers and Pam received Certification in Homeownership Counseling for Program Managers and Executive Directors.

For more information on our Housing Consumer Education Center, please visit our HCEC Page on our website.

About NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling:  NCHEC promotes sustainable homeownership by supporting the industry’s educators and counselors. Through its training programs, professional certifications and other tools and resources, NCHEC increases the number of qualified homeownership professionals who are prepared to help people realize the dream of lifelong homeownership.  Visit their website for more information.

HUD Reports Record-Breaking Worst Case Housing Needs

According to HUD’s Worst Case Housing Needs 2011: Report to Congress, the number of renters with worst case housing needs grew to a record 8.48 million in 2011, from a previous high of 7.10 million in 2009. There has been a 43% increase in worst case housing needs since 2007. HUD released the full report on August 16, after having released an executive summary of the report in February (see Memo, 2/22).

“Worst case housing needs” are those of very low income (below 50% of Area Median Income) renters who do not receive government housing assistance and who either spend more than half of their income on rent, live in severely inadequate conditions, or who face both of these challenges. The vast majority of households with worst case housing needs have severe housing cost burdens, while 3% live in severely inadequate conditions.

The gap between worst case housing needs and assisted households is the highest ever recorded, with two worst case housing needs households for every one assisted household.

No household type, demographic group, or region was unaffected by the growth of worst case housing needs from 2009 to 2011. Nearly 4 in 10 (38.2%) worst case housing needs households in 2011 were families with children, followed by non-family renters (35%) and the elderly without children (17.3%). While very low income families with children are a high proportion of worst case housing needs households, only one in four very low income families with children receive assistance. Forty-eight percent of new worst case housing needs households were among white, 28% among Hispanic, and 13% among black households.

On the national level, 44% of very low income households have worst case housing needs; this rate is slightly higher in the West and slightly lower in the Northeast and Midwest. Further, the prevalence of worst case housing needs is slightly higher in suburbs and somewhat lower in non-metropolitan areas. Housing assistance plays an important role in reducing worst case housing needs but is relatively less common in suburbs where only 18.4% of very low income households are assisted.

Worst Case Housing Needs 2011 identifies household formation, renter share, renter income losses, renter assistance gap, and affordable unit competition as contributing factors to the growth in worst case housing needs. The likelihood of a very low income renter facing worst case housing needs increased from 41.4% in 2009 to 43.9% in 2011. The increase in worst case housing needs is explained primarily by the increased number of renters. The report suggests that the number of renter households increased because of foreclosures and unemployment, forcing previous homeowners to turn to the rental market. New household formations also added more renters. Together, new household formations and share of renters added 1.38 million in worst case housing needs (53% of the total increase from 2009 to 2011).

Competition for affordable housing also continued to grow—higher income renters occupy 38.4% of the units affordable to ELI renters, 34.4% of the units affordable to VLI renters, and 29.9% of the units affordable to LI renters.

The nation no longer has enough affordable units for renters at the lowest incomes even if allocation were perfect. The vacancy rate for units affordable to ELI households is at an all-time low with just 5.4% vacant (compared to 13.1% in 2009) and this at-risk population faces the tightest market since HUD began to measure worst case housing needs in 1985. The report concluded by raising the importance of housing vouchers to assist the 8.48 million households with worst case housing needs.

This report is the 14th in the series that HUD prepares for Congress using the latest American Housing Survey to discuss trends and causes of worst case housing needs.

The full report is available here: http://bit.ly/YpkP4E