Housing


Housing1 featuredAIDS Project Worcester (APW), through funding from Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA), currently provides housing stabilization services to individuals living with HIV.  Services include, but not limited to, one-on-one financial management sessions, financial assistance towards rent and heating costs along with housing search, advocacy and community outreach.

APW recognizes that being housed plays a critical role in ensuring that individuals living with HIV live healthy and productive lives.  As a result we will work with the eligible individual to remain housed. 

An assessment is conducted with eligible individuals in the areas of housing, medical and supportive needs.  Once completed an individual service plan is developed by the eligible individual with the support of housing staff.  Eligible individuals are then expected to work on identified goals with the support of their housing case worker. 

Individuals who are HIV positive and is in need of financial assistance towards rent or utilities or mortgage does not have to be a client of AIDS Project Worcester and may be referred to us by other community partners.  Community partners may request a financial assistance application packet by contacting us

Confidentiality

APW do not share HIV or any other protected medical information with landlords, mortgage or utility companies.  This is in compliance with local, state and federal regulations.  Our communications to landlords, mortgage or utility companies does not identify the funding source as AIDS Project Worcester.  However, if a consumer wishes to disclose his or her status a release of information form must be completed, signed and dated by the consumer.    

Outreach

Housing staff are available to conduct off-site in-services or one-on-one offsite intake with an eligible individual.  Please contact us to schedule an appointment. 

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to eligible individuals and may not exceed 147 days during a calendar year.  The provision of this form of assistance is based on demonstrated need and the availability of funds.  This form of assistance are as follow:

  • Rental start-up will assist eligible individuals with first and last month’s rent.  Units must be affordable and assistance provided may not exceed HUDs fair market rate for the specific unit and geographical area by clicking here.   In addition, units must meet federal, state and city housing code expectations.  
  • Outstanding Rental/mortgage:  Eligible individuals with past due amounts may be provided with financial assistance to cover outstanding rental or mortgage payments.  Eligible individuals must demonstrate that they reside at the unit, must provide proof of 3 consecutive months of rental payments and that they are rent burdened. Individuals who receive state, federal or local housing subsidies are not eligible for assistance.
  • Ongoing rent/mortgage support assist eligible individuals with financial assistance towards their rent for a period not exceeding 147 days within a calendar year.  Outstanding rental payments made will count towards the 147 days of assistance.  Eligible individuals must provide a statement of need and that they are rent burdened. Individuals who receive state, federal or local housing subsidies are not eligible for assistance.
  • Heating assistance (Heating costs ONLY) provides eligible individuals with financial assistance towards their heating cost only.  Assistance provided may not exceed 147 days during a calendar year.  Individuals accessing this service must demonstrate need, that they are rent burdened and provide proof that they have tried accessing assistance from other fuel assistance programs.   For a list of fuel assistance programs in Massachusetts  click here.  

All payments are made directly to the landlord and or the utility company. 

Financial Eligibility Criteria

Individuals meeting the following criteria can apply for financial assistance once per calendar year, except for the Rental start up (which may only be accessed once in a lifetime):

  • Proof of HIV status letter on facility letterhead signed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • Documented financial hardship. 
  • Proof of unit occupancy (lease agreement, utility bills or tenancy verification sent directly to your landlord).
  • Combined household income is in accordance with HUD Very Low Income Guidelines. (Proof of income no older than sixty days for all members of the household is required with the application.) 

For additional information regarding eligibility click here.  

Housing Search and Advocacy

All individuals are encouraged and supported to enroll on various housing subsidized wait lists.  This includes public and private housing wait list including those set aside for people living with HIV/AIDS. 

Click here if you need help locating a unit.

Individuals are encouraged to be responsible and seek out assistance prior to falling behind in their rent/mortgage or utility.  By doing this they stand a greater chance of not getting notices to quit for non-payment of rents, foreclosures or utility shut off notices.  However, if an individual receives a 14 day notice to quit and or foreclosure notice we encourage them to immediately schedule an appointment to see their provider to discuss their options.  Some of the strategies used are one-on-one budgeting and payment plans; supported referrals to housing court or legal aid and rent negotiations with landlords.  Individuals are responsible for actively participating in their housing stabilization process.  

Some key things to remember about housing assistance:

  • This service is only available for HIV positive individuals.
  • APW is not a housing facility, nor does it offer immediate solutions to housing difficulties.

If you have more questions please contact us by selecting housing from the issue drop down box.

*If you have received a notice to quit or an eviction, please speak with your provider prior to the court date to allow time for legal referrals. It is far more difficult to help someone who has been evicted than to prevent a possible eviction.