Housing Consumer Education Center

What are Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCEC)?

Berkshire Housing Development Corporation (BHDC), in partnership with Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority (BCRHA) is a Housing Consumer Education Center./p>

Our HCEC offers answers to a wide range of questions about all types of housing problems. Tenants, landlords, prospective buyers, and homeowners can access information designed to maximize housing stability, strengthen investments, and minimize disputes. We help individuals and families to find and retain affordable housing and we are Pittsfield’s largest provider of rental voucher assistance, serving the homeless, the elderly, the disabled, and low and moderate income residents of the Berkshires.

To apply for additional Eviction Protection, you must follow specific guidelines.
Click here for a copy of the CDC’s Declaration Form

Need Help with Employment?

Your local MassHire Career Center can help you with job search and connect you to other services to improve skills, land a job or develop a long-term career path. MassHire Centers are open for virtual services, so please call the one closest to you to enroll in a Career Center Seminar. The list of MassHire Centers across the state can be accessed at https://www.mass.gov/how-to/find-a-masshire-career-center.

You can also search and match to more than 150,000 open jobs online, utilize online tools to assess your skills, explore careers, sign up for scheduled virtual events, and manage your job search in JobQuest. You do not need to call a MassHire Career Center to register in the system. Go to www.mass.gov/jobquest to get started.

 

What other resources are available to me for my housing crisis?

Berkshire Housing has some grant funding that may be able to help. Not every household will be eligible. Follow these steps in order to find out.

There is more than one funding program and each has its own eligibility requirements.

Please fill out this intake form online and submit it to us if you need assistance with additional services such as:  Housing Search, mediation, tenant rights, landlord rights, home ownership and more:

Here are the forms needed for landlords in order to move forward applications for funding for their tenants. Please choose from one of the three program tabs below for the forms needed. If you are unsure of which packet you need, feel free to email us and we can let you know which one to download and submit:

Discrimination by a landlord is prohibited

Landlords should be aware that Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws prohibits discrimination by a landlord against any tenant receiving federal, state, or local housing subsidies, including rental assistance or rental supplements, because the individual is such a recipient.

A landlord’s refusal to accept emergency rental assistance, that covers the entire amount owed to the landlord, may, in some circumstances, constitute a violation of Chapter 151B.  Landlords should consult their own legal counsel for advice before declining rental assistance that covers all outstanding rent arrears.

Do you need help with housing search?  Click the button here to download our Housing Search Packet for local resources & listings of landlords, shelters, subsidized apartment complexes, food pantries & more. We also offer weekly updates to local apartment vacancies in Berkshire County!

For a printable version of the HCEC Form, click here

 

For more information on HCEC services, please contact us by phone at (413) 344-4868 or you may send us an email. Through our programs and supports, we strive to prevent homelessness, foster economic self-sufficiency, and ensure housing stability for everyone in the Berkshire County area.