MA Unclaimed Property – Have You Checked Lately?


I had posted on this topic a couple of weeks back and have since created a flyer that we have available here in the Resource Center and is available on the right side of the blog for download under “Housing Education Flyers”. We wanted to share with you a recent success story for one of clients who we suggested he put his name into the search engine and lo and behold his name came up twice, for two different pieces of property.

For both listings, it was indicated that the property was valued over $100. Our client went through the process of submitting his claim and received confirmation this week that one of his properties was a paycheck from a former employer in the amount of $936!

So please do see if you have unclaimed funds. It’s free to search and free to file the claim!

Resources for Non EA Shelter/Community Rooms Placement


Resources for Non-EA Shelter/Community Rooms Placement

Interfaith Hospitality Network








508-315-3170 Continue reading

Affordable Auto Repair – Greater Lowell



Affordable Automotive Repair

District residents can use school services from this high tech department for high quality work in automotive systems. Using sophisticated diagnostic equipment, computerized alignment, and licensed to perform state inspections, students work under the supervision of experienced instructors. All service provided when Greater Lowell Technical High School is in session (September-May). Continue reading

Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget


Some great tips courtesy of CTI’s Financial Literacy department about how to save money when you shop for groceries:

Grocery Shopping on a Shoe-String

·       Create a menu for the week and only buy the ingredients you need.

·       Take inventory of your cupboard so you won’t buy something you do not need.

·       Gather coupons online, in newspapers and store flyers and/or try a coupon swap with neighbors, friends, etc. Continue reading

Housing Education Works! Check Out Our Site Reorg.


For those that frequently visit the Merrimack Valley Regional Network Blog, you may/or may not have noticed that we have reduced the number of “pages” which are located at the top of the blog. While these pages may have been eliminated, they have been recreated as flyers that you the viewer may download and print for your own or another’s use.

The CTI Housing Consumer Education Center provides information and referral resources across 41 communities in Northeastern Massachusetts. Our territory covers Greater Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, North Shore and Cape Ann. The single most effective tool for us to distribute our housing education materials is through the use of this blog.

The flyers are located to the right hand side of the screen under “Housing Education Flyers” and PLEASE, if there is a topic that you are interested in and do not see listed, please let us know so that we can make that available to you. Chances are someone else is experiencing a similar challenge.

Housing Education Flyers Continue reading

Poor Credit Barrier to Quality Housing – Accessing Your Credit Report


Here in the Housing Consumer Education Center we find, frequently that quality housing options are hard to come by due to poor credit.

Naturally, a property owner or management company wants to ensure that a prospective tenant has a positive debt payment history and can meet their monthly financial responsibilities. Continue reading

Are You Being Evicted? What You Should Know.


Are You Being Evicted?  What You Should Know

  1. Tenants are not obligated to move out of a unit upon receipt of a 14 day or 30 day notice to quit or when a tenant receives a Summons & Complaint
  2. Tenants have an absolute right to go before a judge
  3. All towns in Greater Lowell are part of the Northeast Housing Court jurisdiction. Tenants have the right to have their evictions heard in this court and have the right to transfer eviction cases from the district court to the housing court.
  4. It can take several months for a tenant to be evicted after the date that they have received a Notice to Quit.
  5. Tenants should NOT ignore a Summons & Complaint
  6. Tenants have the right to raise claims and defenses related to the condition of their apartment and related action of the landlord.  It is illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant for reporting health code violations to the Board of Health. It is illegal for a landlord to change the locks, shut of water, electricity and/or gas to a tenant he/she is attempting to evict.
  7. Tenants have a right to file an answer and discovery once they receive a Summons & Complaint.
  8. Court forms may be found at or through Merrimack Valley Legal Services 35 John St. 3rd fl, Lowell, MA. These forms are designed to be completed by those who are not attorneys.
  9. If the landlord owes a tenant more money than the tenant owes the landlord, the landlord cannot win.
  10. The only individual authorized to request that a tenant leave a unit, is a judge. Even then, the 48 hour notice must be delivered in hand to the tenant, by a constable or Sheriff.
  11. When a tenant is moved out by a constable this is called levying on an execution. When this is done, the landlord/constable is required to hire a moving company, to pay that company to move the tenant’s belongings into storage and to pay the first months storage cost. The landlord may seek repayment for moving and storage from the tenant.
  12. Notes: The court will still order an eviction during the winter time, at Christmas time, when a person is disabled, when a person is elderly and/or when there are small children in the home. A landlord may not raise the rent without the tenants agreement and a security deposit may not be higher than the first month’s rent.



Condemnation! What Happens Now?


With the rate of inspections increasing, we are seeing an increase in the number of households having to vacate their apartment units. Quite often the “code” issues were identified by the tenant prior to moving in with no written inspections in place to hold the landlord accountable. We do have simple move-in inspection forms available here in the Housing Consumer Education Center.

Mass Legal provides a great resource on the issue of condemned housing and tenant rights:

What to do when your home has been condemned

If a housing inspector finds that all or a part of the building you live in is “unfit” to live in and that repairs cannot be made while you are living in the property, the Board of Health may issue a finding that the dwelling or a portion of the dwelling is unfit for human habitation. This finding may lead to the Board of Health’s ordering that the building be condemned, that the landlord close up the property, and that the occupants vacate the portion that is unfit. If the Board of Health condemns your building, legally, you do not have to move until after a judge orders you to move. Continue reading

CTI Housing Consumer Education Center – July 2013 Newsletter

Eligibility for DTA Shelter Placement

Family shelter access is limited to households with minor children. Families seeking shelter through DTA must provide the following documentation:

▪ Foreclosure or judgment for possession in an eviction (Notice to Quit is not enough); or

▪ Overcrowding conditions or uncorrected state sanitary code violations from Board of health or other code enforcement agency; or

▪ Written assessment of threat to health and/or safety provided by domestic violence specialist or housing search provider; or

▪ Written statement from a medical authority describing a medical condition of a family member causing the family to leave its residence; or

▪ Report signed by Fire Dept. or Police/Arson Squad or verbal verification by a member of the Red Cross present at the scene, pending a written report in 5 days; or Continue reading