News Briefs

COVID Case Update

Positive cases in Chelsea blew up in the days after Thanksgiving with a huge spike in cases, registering 376 positive cases of COVID-19 between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6. That was more than double the amount of cases in the previous week, which was 149. That said, the early week numbers were a bit lower, with 16 cases on Dec. 6, and 29 on Dec. 7.

Route 1 Housing Program

In an effort to enhance and preserve the quality of the existing housing supply in the City of Chelsea, the City has premiered the Route 1 Housing Enhancements Program.

The Program provides assistance to homeowners seeking to address sound attenuation, air quality improvements, and exterior repairs. Targeting properties adjacent to Route 1, the Program strives to mitigate the adverse public health effects caused by Route 1, including, but not limited to, noise pollution, degraded air quality, and property damage that occurred during recent state construction.

Learn more about this program and find the application online at www.ChelseaMa.gov/Route-1-Enhancement.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program – Round 2

The second round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is now open for residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and make under 50% of the Area Median Income. The maximum award amount is three months of housing expenses or $5,000, whichever is less. If you have already applied for the first round of the program you are already on the waitlist and do NOT need to reapply. If you received funding from the first round you do not qualify for this round. Applications are available upon request from 311/ 617-466-4209. The application period will close on December 11, 2020.

Program Details & Application: www.chelseama.gov/Rental-Assistance

Cultural Council Grant Application Deadline Extended

Chelsea Cultural Council Grant application deadline has been extended to Monday, December 14, 2020. Paper and Online Applications are available at https://bit.ly/2GhFQQV 

GRANTS support individuals, schools, and organizations for projects in the arts, humanities, & sciences. Further information at 617 466-4090, or [email protected]

Save a Life, Wear a Mask

If you see businesses or workplaces not complying with safety guidelines, please report it by calling the City of Chelsea 311 (non-emergencies line) at 617-466-4209 or visiting mass.gov/compliance.

Housing Legal Clinic

Chelsea Housing Legal Clinic is available to help low-income residents with landlord mediation, eviction proceedings, and other housing legal issues. Due to Covid-19, the office cannot accept walk-ins. Please call 617-603-1700 or 1-800-342-LAWS for initial inquiries and to schedule an appointment. The call center pandemic hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am-noon

Tuesday & Thursday: 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Please be patient as the CHLC expects to receive a large number of calls.

For more information, visit www.chelseama.gov/CHLC

Outdoor Dining Extended

Outdoor Dining Permits have been extended until Dec. 31, but all licensees must seek an extension. It is not automatic. All the licensee has to do is call Naomi Libran or email her. 617.466. 4152 – [email protected] .

Chelsea Heritage Mural

The Chelsea Heritage Mural will be an 80-foot painted mural on aluminum panels installed on the Fifth Street side of 472 Broadway in Bellingham Square. It will be designed and painted by David Fichter. The artist is known for a distinctive, realistic style that features the people, architecture, and other details reflective of the mural location. Working with residents of all ages, he’s completed more than 200 permanent murals that have become beloved local landmarks that communicate the story of each neighborhood.

The City asking for your ideas for the content of this mural. Submit your ideas and learn more about the project here:

https://bit.ly/32TjcWA

Raft Program Rental Assistance

If anyone needs help paying rent, they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Some things to consider:

•Your immigration status does not matter. 

•You may be eligible for RAFT if you have not been, or will not be, able to pay rent, mortgage payments, or utilities due to COVID-19. 

•You must be in contact with your landlord or property manager (RAFT funds are paid to them). 

•If you are not on the lease, you can provide your landlord’s contact information to confirm that you are a tenant. 

•If you need help to cover your security deposit (for first or last month’s rent), you can specify the unit you plan to move into, even if you have not yet signed the lease. 

•You are not eligible if you are in an Emergency Assistance Shelter.

Households can receive up to $4,000 for a 12-month period. To check eligibility and for help with applications, call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.

Water Leak Alerts

The City of Chelsea is offering a free service to residents to help efficiently manage water usage and lower monthly bills. The service also notifies residents if usage indicates a possible leak. Register for this service at http://chelma.aquahawk.us or call 617-464-4041 for more information.

Free Water Meter Replacement

The City of Chelsea’s DPW is continuing its water meter replacement program for both residential and commercial customers. As part of this effort, meter service technicians from the DPW may be visiting a property to remove the old meter and replace it with a new meter. All DPW meter service technicians travel in marked City of Chelsea vehicles and have City of Chelsea identification badges. Whenever a water meter technician visits a property, one should ask to see the City issued ID. Installation of a new meter will typically take less than 30 minutes. The new meters will eliminate most estimated bills. Reliable readings will also allow customers to identify leaks that may result in higher than normal bills. There is no charge for the new meter. 

Chelsea Street Bridge App

For those seeking real time information about the Chelsea St. Bridge closures, Massport is operating a Twitter account which alerts drivers whenever the bridge is opening for shipping and closed to traffic. The Twitter account is @LoganToChelsea. This real time information supplements the new vehicular warnings systems now currently active on Broadway and Williams St.

MassPort Noise Complaint Line

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

Senior Water and Sewer Discount

Chelsea senior citizens are reminded to sign up for the new Senior Discount for water and sewer charges. Any senior 65 or older who owns and occupies his/her own home may apply.  The discount is 10% off the monthly bill.

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