Homeowner & Landlord Resources
The City of Northampton has CDBG funding to assist income-qualified owner-occupants in making necessary repairs to their homes to eliminate building code violations, eliminate unsafe or unhealthy conditions, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities, improve weatherization, improve energy efficiency, removal lead-based paint, or undertake other necessary repairs to improve the quality of living conditions. Community Action Pioneer Valley (CAPV) assists the City with the program administration. You can view the program manual to learn more about qualifications, eligible projects, and the rehab process. Contact CAPV by phone at 413-376-1163 or by email.
Lead Based Paint
There is no safe level of lead exposure and childhood exposure to even low levels can cause severe and irreversible effects, including:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Slowed growth and development, hearing and speech problems
- Learning and behavior problem
When children are identified as lead poisoned, most often the source of the exposure is through ingestion of dust or soil contaminated by loose or deteriorated lead paint or lead paint that was disturbed by unsafe renovation work in their homes. Although lead-based paints were banned in homes in 1978, up to 50% of the homes in Northampton could still contain lead-based paint. Homeowners can search for their home's lead history using the Lead Safe Homes database. The Department of Public Health's, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) has many education pamphlets on lead-based paint in English and Spanish and are available for download. The state has many disclosures for the protection of home buyers, renters, and short-term rental renters.
Get the Lead Out is state sponsored program designed to provide low-cost financing to owners of 1-4 family properties to remove hazardous lead-based paint from their homes and reduce the possibility of lead poisoning in children. This program can be used in conjunction with other programs, such as the City's housing rehabilitation program. For Hampshire and Hampden counties, the Get the Lead out program is administered by Way Finders out of their Springfield office. Call 413-233-1621 or visit their website for more information. Loan Amounts range from $30,000 for a single-family home, up to $45,000 for a four-family home.
The Massachusetts Lead Paint Removal Tax Credit offers up to $1,500 in state credit (as of 2022) for deleading your home.
There are additional state and federal programs specifically to remove lead paint, for owners of single-family and owner occupants of 1-4 family units. Learn more at the Financial Assistance for Deleading Page. The City maintains a list of EPA and CLPPP resources on its Lead Based Paint folder.
Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC) is funded by Community Preservation Act to offer counseling to first-time home buyers. They will discuss sustainable home ownership, mortgages, and debt. For more information and to register, go to the Frameworks site. Additionally, some Northampton residents may be income-eligible for down payment and closing cost assistance. Valley CDC also offers post-purchase repairs and foreclosure prevention counseling.
For Veterans and members of the military seeking to purchase their first home, MassHousing offers closing-costs, down-payment assistance, and affordable financing as part of their Operation Welcome Home (OWH) initiative. OWH differs from a traditional VA Home Loan in that MassHousing will accept non-spouse co-borrowers, they have a simplified condo approval process, and they offer up to $2,500 in closing costs. Additional programs for renters, homebuyers, and developers can be viewed on their homepage.
For veterans who are near to becoming homeless or who are experiencing homeless, see housing and related resources here.
Mortgage & Utility Help
Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provides financial assistance to help homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments due to the pandemic. The Massachusetts HAF will provide financial assistance to eligible homeowners who have missed at least three home mortgage payments to help them avoid foreclosure. If a homeowner's application is approved, funds will be provided to a homeowner’s mortgage servicing company (the company that collects their mortgage payments) in order to apply it to the housing loan).
To check your eligibility or apply for funding: https://massmortgagehelp.org/
Incentives for Energy Efficiency
Mass Save offers financial and technical assistance to homeowners to use less energy and save money. Technical assistance can come from free energy audits on your home and recommendations for efficiency upgrades. They offer rebates and incentives to lower your energy bill, such as weatherization, efficient appliances, and financing for major projects. They also have rebates and incentives for businesses and the development of multi-family housing that is "passive house" certified.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) is a state agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector to meet the state’s clean energy, climate, and economic development goals. They offer a wealth of information for homeowners to switch to clean energy, improve the weatherization of their homes, use more efficient heating/cooling, more efficient hot water & appliances, and switching to electric vehicles. The CEC does not offer incentives directly, but does maintain a list of several incentives at the state and federal level.
For low-income multi-family units, the LEAN Multi-Family program offers financial incentives for property owners to deliver complete, cost-effective gas and electric energy efficiency upgrades for affordable housing developments in Massachusetts. They serve residential buildings owned by non-profits, for profit entities, or housing authorities.
Northampton Housing Landlord Incentive Program
The Northampton Housing Authority (NHA) is offering $1,000 signing bonus and $50 to offset the fees associated with the application for new landlords engaged in a lease with an Emergency Housing Voucher Program participant. This is a great opportunity to help people live independent lives and prevent homelessness. For more information on the program, go to their website: https://www.northamptonhousing.org/EHVLandlord/