Avoiding Homelessness:
Start with the HAPHousing HCEC

Contact a Counselor Who Can Help

If you are at risk of losing your housing and becoming homeless, HAPHousing’s Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) can provide a variety of information and assistance. In order for us to properly help you, download an Assessment Form (en Español). Please make sure you accurately and fully answer all questions that apply to you.

We encourage you to meet with an HCEC counselor to review your Assessment Form. We can better assess your needs if we meet with you in person. A counselor is available Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 12pm in our Springfield office and on Mondays from 1pm to 4pm in our Northampton office. If you would like to meet with a counselor and cannot come during these hours, contact us by email or call HCEC at 413-233-1600 or toll free at 1-800-332-9667 x1600 or TTY 413-233-1699 to make an appointment.

After HCEC staff review your assessment, we will provide you with any appropriate information and referrals. Within 15 days of our receipt of the Assessment Form, we will also contact you if we may be able to provide you with short-term financial assistance. Unfortunately, because of the large numbers of people we serve and the limited number of staff, we can only contact people we may be able to assist further. If you have not been contacted within 15 days, assume that we cannot provide you with financial assistance.

Sometimes, HCEC can provide limited, short-term financial assistance for families and individuals who are homeless, in a shelter or at very high risk of immediate homelessness. This assistance may be used for rent or utility arrears, security deposits, first and last month's rent, and, in some instances, time-limited rental support. Income and other eligibility requirements vary by program funding sources. To apply for these funds, download and complete the HCEC Assessment form (see instructions above).

Foreclosure Prevention

HAPHousing serves as the administrative agency for a state-funded initiative called the Western Massachusetts Foreclosure Prevention Center. This local not-for-profit program consists of approximately 15 partner agencies throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Berkshire and Franklin counties.

Trained foreclosure prevention counselors will provide free and confidential guidance to help address the needs of current homeowners facing possible mortgage defaults and foreclosures. The Center is also available to provide education for the next generation of homebuyers about the home buying process to ensure that they succeed over the long term. 

If you are a homeowner at risk of losing your home through foreclosure, please contact the Western Massachusetts Foreclosure Prevention Center during business hours at 413-233-1622.

Domestic Violence

If you are experiencing domestic violence and need a safe place to go, call 911 for the police department emergency line or 733-7100 for the YWCA Abuse & Rape Crisis Hotline in Springfield.

Other helpful numbers in the region:
Springfield Police Department Family Services and Domestic Violence: 787-6360
Women's Shelter/Compañeras, Holyoke: 536-1628
Necessities/Necesidades, Northampton: 586-5066
NELCWIT in Greenfield: 772-0806
Women's Services Center, Pittsfield: 443-0089
Dept. of Social Services/Child Abuse: 800-792-5200
S.A.F.E. (State-wide domestic violence hotline): 877-785-2020 (TDY: 877-521-2601)
Dr. Richard Zalowski: Director of Domestic Violence Programs: 413-734-4978

The HAPHousing SafeStep program serves survivors of domestic violence in various locations. Families are referred by a variety of partner agencies, including domestic violence shelters, the Massachusetts Department of Families and Children (DCF) and the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

Pregnant and Parenting Teens

The HAPHousing Turning Point Program has nine units of transitional housing for pregnant and parenting teens (generally 18 to 22). Participants are accepted through partner agencies, including the Care Center, DTA and DCF.