CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Access to affordable housing has become a growing issue in the nation and right here in Massachusetts.

Locals told 22News how they experienced this firsthand and are trying to help others be heard and secure a place to call home. Saying that they need rent to be affordable.

Aime Matos of Holyoke shares her story about the struggle to find affordable housing. “I grew up in a section 8 voucher home, I lost my parents by the age of 19, but when I lost my home, I had nowhere to go, the system couldn’t help me because I have no kids,” expressed Aime Matos, Nouveau Property Management Inc, President & CEO. “I jumped from home to home…then I had my kids, I struggled, I can’t stress how expensive housing is.”

The housing crisis, between the low inventory of housing and high costs of both homes and rentals taking a particularly hard hit on low-income individuals and families. ” I have been in property management for about 13 years, I’ve learned along the way that a lot of people with records,” added Matos. “Certain records are turned away even when they have section 8 vouchers. Housing income limits are very low, they are extremely low, so a lot of people are disqualified because of that.”

Matos teamed up with other housing advocates to create a local non-profit, making it their mission for people of all backgrounds to be able to afford a home. “We want to fill that void, we want to show that our skill sets and our experience, our networks have what we need to prove that our concept, is viable,” explained Jesse Castellano, Nouveau Property Management Inc. Vice President & COO. “And that we are creating, not only a voice for those who need to be heard but we are creating resolutions.”

This non-profit, now trying to bridge that gap, between property owners, and those looking to find affordable homes. “We want the landlords and investors to call us, we are willing to get you together with these section 8 voucher recipients, get a meeting together and provide affordable housing for these individuals, please help us do that,” said Matos.

This non-profit will be holding an event to connect property owners with people in need of affordable housing on March 3rd from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This event is to be held at Fiesta Cafe on 305 Main Street in Holyoke. If you wish to participate, Matos can be contacted at 413-463-0510.