Updates, Friday July 17th, 2020
If you know someone in financial stress, or maybe you are concerned about being able to pay your rent or mortgage arrears when the eviction and foreclosure moratorium ends, there are services available to help you sort this all out.
The first thing to do is to complete an assessment form. Always a form right? Go to the website for Berkshire Housing, here’s the link to the website;
This will bring you to their homepage where you’ll see a box with the logo of a tree inside. Directly below that you’ll see “Housing Consumer Education Center” with a description of services below it. Click on it. You’ll see a description of the services available for this program and a bullet for “financial assistance programs” and a line in purple to access the application. Click on this and follow assessment directions.
The assessment is available in English and Spanish. You can download the form, complete it and fax to 413-496-9831. You can also mail it back to:
Berkshire Housing Development Corp./Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority; ATTN: HCEC Assessment, P.O. Box 1180, Pittsfield, MA 01202.
If you do not have computer access or need assistance with the process, please call (413) 499-1630, ext. 157 and leave a message. The phone line is checked multiple times during the week Monday through Friday. Hint; do it online if you can. It’s much faster!
OK, so everybody wants to know about Farmer’s Market Coupons. Obviously we can’t provide them in the usual manner, Covidization has shelved that process so here’s the new way we’ll do it.
Beginning Wednesday July 22nd we’ll dispense the coupons daily between 9:00 and 1:00 until they are gone.We’re doing it by appointment, you have to call us here at Harper, 413.458.8250 and arrange a slot to stop by and fill out the paperwork and receive your coupons. We’re doing it in 20 minute intervals, we want to avoid people milling about and waiting so you should be in and out quickly.
Eligibility is pretty much unchanged; Recipients must be: 60 years or older,have a household income at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Line ($23,606 for a one person household, $31, 894 for 2 people) and must reside in Williamstown. Coupons are first come, first serve basis.
Each booklet contains 10 coupons, each valued at $2.50 = $25.00 worth of coupons. Each applicant will receive a complete booklet. No split booklets. No applicant is eligible to receive more than one booklet. Distribution is by individual not household. Coupons expire October 31st, 2020.No change can be given for coupon purchases.Coupons can only be redeemed at certified locations with certified farmers and may be redeemed for local fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and unprocessed honey.
The Williamstown Farmers Market will accept the coupons and will match them. The system will likely use a coupon code at checkout and you’ll have to bring your coupons with you to pick up time to be collected. As for pick up, we won’t be accepting calls or appointments will be made before Wednesday July 22nd.
In the meanwhile, here’s the legal stuff we have to add:
- In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
- Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
- To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- Or finally you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Have a great weekend!