20 Nov 8,368 Households Received More than $44 Million in Emergency Housing Assistance in FY23
Boston, MA – The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, a homelessness prevention program funded by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), provided a lifeline for 8,368 families in every city and town in Metro Housing|Boston’s region, providing more than $44 million in assistance during FY23.
For the past 10 years, Metro Housing has examined the RAFT program in a fiscal year report that highlights the program, looks at how it benefits households in Metro Housing’s service area, and discusses what we learned. This year’s report highlights the changes to the program since fiscal year 2020 as RAFT has experienced both significant growth with the advent of federal funding, followed by contraction as federal resources were depleted. During this time, however, RAFT also became more efficient and developed even stronger community partnerships.
In FY23, Metro Housing’s relationships with community-based organizations continued to provide an invaluable resource for families. Partnerships with Action for Boston Community Development, Asian Community Development Corporation, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, The Neighborhood Developers (TND)/CONNECT, WATCH, and Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID) provided not only venues for getting the word out about available assistance, but also provided places for people to complete applications and overcome language barrier issues.
“RAFT continues to serve as a vital lifeline for many residents who have struggled to maintain financial and housing stability during COVID recovery,” said Angie Liou, executive director of Asian Community Development Corporation. “Our partnership with Metro Housing has enabled us to assist many monolingual low-income Asian families, many who have no other resource to turn to and had never heard of RAFT.”
Key Findings from RAFT in Review FY2023:
- Rental arrears remained the largest category for RAFT assistance, at 80% of the total amount of payments. This was four times the total of all the other types combined.
- The average per-household assistance was $5,293 in FY23.
- Streamlined application process resulted in faster turnaround times for assistance.
- Black/African American households represented the highest group receiving assistance at 35%.
- Dorchester was the most highly served Boston neighborhood, with 1,604 households receiving $7,914,821 in assistance.
- Chelsea was the most served city outside of Boston, with 663 households receiving $3,681,752.
- Households in every single city and town in Metro Housing’s region benefitted from RAFT assistance.
“The data in this report shows the need for a more sustainable solution, from additional rental assistance vouchers and the production of below-market-rate housing to the critical shortage of affordable housing in the metro Boston area,” said Chris Norris, Executive Director of Metro Housing|Boston. “RAFT has been a lifeline for thousands of households over the years, and its importance cannot be overstated. However, until more permanent, viable solutions are identified and implemented, a safety net for those most at risk of homelessness needs to be dependably and heavily funded.”
To access the full report, visit bit.ly/RAFTRep23
About Metro Housing|Boston
Serving more than 25,000 households annually, Metro Housing|Boston is dedicated to mobilizing wide-ranging resources to provide innovative and personalized services that assist families in avoiding homelessness, maintain housing stability, and achieve economic security. With more than 40 years’ experience piloting and implementing housing programs, it has solidified their position as an industry-leading expert on navigating the affordable housing field. Metro Housing|Boston is committed to making sure that every person in Greater Boston will always have a place to call home. Visit www.metrohousingboston.org, facebook.com/MetroHousingBoston, or follow on Twitter at @MetroHousingBos.