Community Services
Community Services Adapts Trainings to Support Housing Partners
May 18, 2020

Community Services trainings continue to provide valuable, timely information and insight to help MassHousing's housing and social service partners confront the challenges they face today.

Normally, at this time of year, the Partner Learning and Training Initiatives group within MassHousing's Community Services Department would be offering the final handful of in-person trainings to finish out their 'training year'. But with the onset of the coronavirus and the subsequent stay-at home advisories, the remaining scheduled in-person trainings were cancelled from mid-March to the end of June.

Community Services moved quickly to procure a webinar platform and the group tapped into its existing relationships with high quality trainers and subject matter experts to begin offering both COVID-19-specific and existing content as webinars.

The department held its first webinar in partnership with Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JF&CS), "Physical Distancing and Social Isolation" on April 6 – only two weeks after the Governor issued an Executive Order closing all non-essential business and advised residents to stay at home.

In addition to JF&CS, Community Services has facilitated webinars with trainers representing Boston University, Piltch Associates, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Webinars have included Physical Distancing and Social Isolation; Coping with Loss in Our Communities; Understanding Community Trauma: What We Are All Experiencing and How to Mitigate the Impact; and, Building Resilient Communities through Promoting and Practicing Self-Care.

In addition, the Department moved two scheduled in-person trainings to webinars, both of which met HUD Resident Service Coordinator certification requirements: Understanding and Working with Residents with Dementia and Liability Issues Related to Providing Resident Service Coordination.

To date, 15 webinars have been held or scheduled with 1,158 registrants and 1,225 waitlisted. MassHousing has waived all training fees to get this important content to as many people as possible.

"This was one of the more helpful trainings I have taken," said one webinar attendee. "Engaging."

"Thank you for providing space to acknowledge all the different types [of grief] we as professionals are experiencing, along with how to help our consumers and take care of ourselves during this difficult time," said another.

The Department is currently working to get additional COVID-specific webinars scheduled in addition to getting more existing curricula webinar-ready. New webinars will be announced soon, and space is expected to fill up quickly. To receive emails when registration opens, please go to For more information or questions, please contact Helena Padellaro at