01 Mar Homelessness Prevention Program Saves Commonwealth Up to $26 Million in Greater Boston
Boston, MA – Metro Housing|Boston has released its fifth annual report on the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, showing how the state’s largest homelessness prevention program saved Massachusetts up to $26 million and helped nearly 1,400 families in greater Boston avoid homelessness.
RAFT is a homelessness prevention program for families experiencing a housing crisis. RAFT allows eligible households to apply for up to $4,000 in assistance that can be used flexibly to meet the expenses often associated with housing instability, eviction, and homelessness. It is funded by the Massachusetts Legislature through the Department of Housing and Community Development and is administered by ten nonprofit organizations across the state. Metro Housing administers RAFT in Boston and 28 neighboring communities.
In Metro Housing’s 29-community Greater Boston service area, the $3.7 million RAFT investment helped 1,392 families resolve a housing crisis that may have led to homelessness. Nearly 800 of the families were potentially eligible for shelter. Keeping them housed likely saved the Commonwealth $26 million.
Other Key Findings:
- Due to the continued investment by the Commonwealth, Metro Housing assisted 42% more families last year than it did four years ago.
- The average RAFT benefit increased from $2,614 in FY17 to $2,689 in FY18.
- 91 percent of households that received RAFT assistance from Metro Housing in FY18 were headed by woman.
- At least one family was assisted in each of the 29 communities where Metro Housing provides RAFT. Nearly 50 percent of the households that received RAFT from Metro Housing in FY 2018 faced eviction for non-payment of rent.
Boston is one of the most expensive cities to live in in the United States. According to a Boston Foundation report (The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2017), 52 percent of renter households now pay more than 30 percent of their gross income in rent—the highest percentage on record.
“Our reports continue to show the positive impacts of the RAFT program,” said Metro Housing Executive Director Christopher Norris.” For a relatively small investment, families in our region are able to stay in their communities near their children’s schools, their health providers, and their social networks. This is crucial to helping families maintain stability and achieve economic security.”
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 lead families to housing stability, economic security and an improved quality of life. With more than 30 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.