Chelsea Record: Metro Housing|Boston on pace to triple housing support with RAFT funding in FY21

Source: Chelsea Record

In the last six months, Metro Housing|Boston provided Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) eviction prevention to 2,807 families, more than all of the families assisted in FY20. With the recent efficiencies implemented in the RAFT process, Metro Housing expects to help three times as many families by the end of June.

Overall, Metro Housing has helped 64% more families in these six months than in all of FY20; 2,807 households compared to 1,710. Toward the end of December, Metro Housing was processing weekly check runs of nearly $800,000. It expects to process a weekly average of $1 million soon.

Metro Housing has prioritized reaching out to underserved communities. It is clear from this mid-year data that the outreach efforts of Metro Housing have accomplished the critical goal of getting support to those households in communities most directly impacted by COVID 19. Our extensive partnerships with local organizations such as Asian Community Development Corporation, CONNECT, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, The Neighborhood Developers, Viet-AID, WATCH CDC, and Action for Boston Community Development, have greatly extended the availability of services available to specific communities in need.

“The Asian Community Development Corporation very much appreciates our partnership with Metro Housing on RAFT to ensure that our immigrant community members can access RAFT in their native languages,” said Angie Liou, Executive Director, Asian Community Development Corporation. “Throughout the pandemic we have seen too often communities of color and immigrants fall through the cracks in relief programs; Metro Housing’s partnership with local grassroots organizations provides these communities with access to much needed housing assistance.”

“Since the regional housing crisis has caused rents and property values to increase to unsustainable levels in Chelsea and Revere, RAFT has been a critical tool for our gateway communities,” said Rafael Mares, Executive Director, The Neighborhood Developers. “As a result of the pandemic it has become a lifeline for many. TND is honored to be able to assist with applications for RAFT in partnership with Metro Housing Boston. RAFT is a critical resource because it serves tenants and owners regardless of immigration status.”

Examples of specific community increases include:

• East Boston has seen a ten-fold increase between the two time periods: 21 families in all of FY20 and 238 families in these first six months. More than 150 more families in Boston overall (12%) have received more help in FY21 to date compared to all last year.

• Revere registers a six-fold increase, from 30 to 208 families.

• Chelsea has seen a five-fold increase, from 62 households to 345, as has Waltham, from 21 to 101 families.

• The number of families helped in Everett has almost tripled, from 31 to 82, as has Malden, also increasing from 31 to 82.

• Quincy families’ participation in RAFT has more than doubled, from 47 to 111 families, as has those in Jamaica Plain, from 18 to 42 households.

Those wishing to apply for RAFT assistance may do so by accessing the application on the Metro Housing|Boston’s website. Those without access to a computer may request an application by calling the Housing Consumer Education Center at 617.425.6700.

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