Housing Costs

If you could only do two things, download the Housing Issues Manual and get up to date on the Checklist.  And when you’re ready to do outreach to your community, we’ve created these flyers you can edit for local use.

Comprehensive Housing Issues Manual

PowerPoints on Housing Issues from Training Presentation

Ways to Help Adults Understand and Use All the Property Tax Relief Options in Massachusetts

Did you know that the “circuit breaker” income tax credit and local property tax deferral and exemption programs are the largest financial benefits available to older adult homeowners!?

Let’s make elder economic security a reality! Please do all that you can to convince adults to use these large financial reliefUse the tax relief informational handouts on this page – they are easy to modify with your local phone numbers.

  • Include reminders or the full Circuit Breaker fact sheet in your winter and spring newsletters.
  • When hosting lunches, other classes and events, also mention the town exemptions and deferrals application time period, usually the fall, and the materials you have on hand to help them.
  • Download and print / or gather enough of the state income tax and circuit breaker forms – both Form 1 and Schedule CB — so you can have a stack on hand for folks to take home.
  • Send out blast emails about the town deferrals/exemptions as well as the state circuit breaker income tax credit.
  • Hold a special educational forum with your local tax assessor as the featured speaker in the early fall so attendees can have time to apply before the December deadline.
  • Post posters reminding folks of the application deadlines.

What would be an amazing enrollment goal for each community by 2022? It would be an amazing accomplishment if we can raise the total number of older adults who file for the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit to be at least 25% of all tax filers in each town! And to see at least 200 elder households using their town’s property tax deferral option by 2022!

Please download these 3 fact sheets, insert your local contact information, and then distribute widely to elder households across your community.

FY10 &20 Legislative Advocacy on Poroperty Tax Relief

Boston College Center on Retirement Research Legislative Recommendation for New Deferral

Tools to Help Older Adults Decide “Should I Move or Should I Stay in My Current Home”

Housing Forum Videos – Login Required

Advice for How to Partner with Town Tax Assessor to Educate Homeowners

  • Try to build a stronger partnership with your local board of assessors so they may jointly conduct community events with you about the property tax relief programs in your town. If they are more involved in educating older adults, it will increase the likelihood that their office staff will work to enroll more taxpayers in need of these financial relief options. Arrange to meet with the Assessor to talk about in person education events and publishing information about the relief options.
  • Host an annual education event (or more as needed), with reserved seating, for homeowners in your community where the assessor and COA staff explain the options and application requirements.
  • Confirm if there is a local fact sheet on all the property tax relief programs in town. If not, create one together.
  • Discuss adding this new fact sheet to your mutual community web site pages.
  • Publish the fact sheet in your newsletter at the appropriate time of year. Combine the program information with an explanation about the MA Public Policy goal for no senior to pay more than 10% of their income on property taxes. See circuit breaker history for more details.
  • Direct seniors to the Assessor for questions and counseling.
  • Offer to co-locate an assessor at the senior center, if co-location in the senior center might build greater consumer interest and willingness to explore the option.
  • Ensure that any local Tax Aide volunteers as well as local accountants are aware of and completing the CB Forms for seniors who they help to file state income taxes.
  • Ask the tax aides and accountants as well as the Assessor’s office staff to refer seniors to your outreach staff when they discern that the senior’s income is below the MA Elder Index for Economically Insecure Elders so that the outreach staff can help the senior identify and enroll into other financial assistance programs.
  • Download and modify the property tax outreach fact sheets from this page

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138