Housing Consumer Education Center January Newsletter

Free Tax Preparation

Community Teamwork Inc (CTI) will be providing free tax preparation services starting in February. The dates and times are as follows:

February 8 thru April 14, Wednesday afternoons from 4 PM to 7 PM and Saturday mornings from 9 AM to Noon

Appointments are required. Walk-ins can not be ensured of seeing someone that day. It will depend upon availability of staff.  To make an appointment, contact Gail Fortes at 978-654-5676.

Greater Lawrence Community Action will also be running a free tax preparation program. The sessions will be from February 7 thru April 12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 PM to 7 PM. For appointments, contact Gail Fortes at 978-654-5676.

CTI is looking for volunteers to act as tax preparers. Anyone interested should contact Gail. Training will be provided. Child care will also be provided on site.

Preparation will be done in Lowell at the HCEC office on the first floor of 17 Kirk Street across from Lowell High School and St. Anne’s Church.

Preparations will also be done at the M/A-Com Federal Credit Union at 83 Merrimack Street on Thursday afternoons from February 9 to April 5 from 3 PM to 7 PM. For an appointment at this site, call 978-328-5100.

Bi-lingual preparers for several languages will be available as needed. Call ahead.


 Needy Meds Drug Discount Card

The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card can save holders up to 80% on prescription medicine.

● Always free—no fees or registration

● No income guidelines

● Use the card as often as needed

● Never expires

● Use at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide including all major chains

● Share the card with friends and family

What if I have insurance?

Anyone can use the card, but it can’t be combined with insurance. You can use the card instead of insurance if:

● A drug isn’t covered by your insurance

● The insurance has no drug coverage

● There is a high drug deductible

● There is a low medicine cap that has been met

● The card offers a better price than your copay

● You are in the Medicare Part D donut hole

The card can’t be used to lower a copayment

What drugs are covered?

The card is good for prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies if written on a prescription blank, and pet prescription medicines purchased at a pharmacy. You’ll save on most, but not all prescriptions.

For more information, visit www.needymeds.org or call 1-888-602-2978. Email info@needymeds.org.

How to find no-cost/low-cost medicine on the web:

Look for Patient Assistance Programs by looking up the name of your medicine

● Click on Brand Name Drugs in the menu, on the left side of the page, and follow the directions

● If you can’t find your medicine on this list, click on the Generic Name Drugs on the left and repeat the process

● If your medicine is not on either list, assistance is not currently available through the program.


Subsidized Housing Updates

Due to long waiting lists for affordable housing in Massachusetts, some families may wish to explore opportunities outside of the Commonwealth. While there are some downsides to moving to New Hampshire or Vermont, such as loss of Mass Health benefits and having to reopen food stamp services, families in dire need may be willing to look beyond our borders where subsidized housing may be available much more quickly. Here are some examples taken from the Vermont State Housing web site updated January 1, 2012.

Highgate Apartments, Barre Vt. Three 2-BR vacancies and one 3-BR vacancy.  Call 802-476-8645

Colonial Village, Bradford, Vt. One 3-BR vacancy. Call 802-222-4703

Mill Village in Bridgewater, Vt. One 3-BR vacancy. Call 802-295-7961

Cummings Street in Montpelier, Vt. One 4-BR vacancy. Call 802-229-9232

Willey Lane in Newport, Vt. One 3-BR vacancy. Call 802-754-8896.

Remember: You can always apply, get an offer, and turn it down.


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