Quincy, Braintree families receive money to avoid homelessness

Source: Patriot Ledger | By:

QUINCY – A nonprofit organization aimed at preventing homelessness gave money to 63 people in Quincy and Braintree this year.

Forty of those families were in Quincy, receiving a total of $106,21 through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program, or RAFT. The 23 families in Braintree, the only other municipality on the South Shore which had residents get assistance through this program, received a total of $59,221.

The program by Metro Housing Boston is meant for families with very low incomes trying to keep their current housing or find new housing.

Only Boston, Chelsea and Malden had more families who received money through the program than Quincy did, according to the end-of-year report released Monday by Metro Housing.

The poverty rate in Quincy is 10.2 percent. In Braintree, it’s 5.9 percent. The mean income for all residents is $84,776 in Braintree and $64,155 in Quincy. Metro Housing estimates the families in Quincy and Braintree who received money through this program in 2017 had a median household income around $12,500, according to Metro Housing’s report.

 Families with very low incomes who are in danger of becoming homeless can receive up to $4,000 through the program. To qualify, the family has to include two or more people, and at lease one has to be a pregnant woman or a dependant under age 21. The total household income must be less than half of the area median. In the Boston area, that means a family of three would have to make under $46,550 to qualify, according to the organization’s data.

Metro Housing Boston is a nonprofit organization whose state goal is cutting down on homelessness in the Boston area. Statewide, 48 percent of the $3.9 million distributed through this program was used to pay arrears on rent, according to Metro Housing’s report. An additional 31 percent went toward security deposits or first and last month’s rent. Most of the rest was spent on utilities or furniture, the report states.

Metro Housing says 4 percent of people who received money in 2016 got more money in 2017.

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