From auto insurance to help with tech, service providers and others are offering freebies, discounts and perks to help Boston residents save money.
Mortgage Deferment and Fee Breaks
Homeowners in Boston can delay their mortgage payments by 3 months or more if held by one of the 12 local lenders from the bulleted list below. Contact your lender and show you’ve been financially impacted. You won’t be charged late fees or reported to credit bureaus for non-payment. After the deferral period, you can work with your lender on a repayment plan. Homeowners will still need to pay their property tax bills, but they have an extra month to pay their May 1, 2020 bill.
Renters also get help thanks to the City’s Rental Relief Fund. The first round of rent relief has been disbursed, but fill out the contact form to get in line for the next round.
- Bank of America
- Boston Private
- Cambridge Trust Company
- Century Bank
- Citizens Bank
- City of Boston Credit Union
- Dedham Savings Bank
- Eastern Bank
- Mortgage Network, Inc.
- Prime Lending
- Salem Five Bank
- Santander Bank
Discounts on Auto Insurance
Geico auto, motorcycle, and RV policyholders will receive a 15% credit on their next 6-month or 12-month policy term. On average, customers can expect about $150 extra per auto policy. If you’re an existing customer, no action is necessary. Thanks to the company’s “Staying Home Refund,” MAPFRE will return 15% of April and May premiums to their customers in Massachusetts, who can expect approximately $40 back. Hanover Insurance Group is also offering 15% off April and May auto premiums. They’re also waiving late fees and halting cancellations for non-payment through June 1, 2020.
If you aren’t covered through an employer, the Massachusetts Health Connector is offering a special open enrollment period for health insurance through May 25 .
Money for Nonprofits and Restaurant Employees
The restaurant industry has lost two-thirds of its workforce. If you’ve experienced a major pay cut or lost your job, apply for a grant from this fund run by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The Boston Resiliency Fund supports nonprofits that are providing services to seniors, children, and first responders, among other groups. To apply for a grant from the pool of funds, fill out a statement of interest form.
Thanks to Boston’s partnership with the app Nesterly, seniors can turn to a free online service called “Good Neighbors” that will connect them to local volunteers. Volunteers can help with groceries, medication, or call to check-in. All volunteers go through a background check and receive guidance regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety protocols when completing deliveries. To access the service:
- Submit a request, either by phone at 877-958-8785, online or email, for delivery of groceries or a prepared meal, a wellness check-in call, or a note.
- Good Neighbors will reach out to their volunteer community to locate a compatible volunteer.
- The volunteer will contact you directly via email or phone to facilitate the delivery or check-in.
The free Nextdoor app, which connects you with your neighbors, offers a “Help Map” you can use to find free hyper-local assistance. Make sure to enable notifications and read safety guidelines before getting in touch.
- Tap on the “Help Map” icon in the upper right side of your Nextdoor homepage.
- Your home is the green star. The green dots represent neighbors offering help.
- Click on a green dot to see a message from a neighbor about what they are available to help with.
- Click the “Send a message” button to send a private message to your neighbor asking for the help you need.
- You will receive a notification when a neighbor replies.
Chances are there’s a community-based, volunteer-run network in your neighborhood. Below are just a few available to residents.
- Cambridge Mutual Aid Network
- Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville—Find support, offer support, or get involved. Fill out a request form to ask for help with:
- Petcare and more
- Hotline: 339-545-1315
Find Food Resources
It’s easy to locate a food pantry thanks to the city’s map.
There are 65 locations in Boston where youth can pick up free breakfast and lunch to go Monday through Friday. Most are open between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Call ahead to confirm before you go to a site. See the full list.
Six sites serve meals to adults Monday through Friday:
- YMCA Egleston Square, Roxbury
- YMCA Oak Square, Brighton
- YMCA Bremen St., East Boston
- BCYF Leahy Holloran, Dorchester
- BCYF Mattahunt, Mattapan
- The Mary Ellen McCormack, South Boston
The Somerville Public Schools are distributing meals to residents from 9 to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday at the locations below. Call the Emergency Food Pantry at: 781-747-8198.
- East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross St.
- Arthur D. Healey School, 5 Meacham St.
- Winter Hill Community Innovation School, 115 Sycamore St.
- West Somerville Neighborhood School, 177 Powder House Blvd.