Homelessness Prevention Program Saves Commonwealth $33 Million in Greater Boston

1,710 households from 29 communities received a total of $4.4 million in RAFT funding

Boston, MA – Metro Housing|Boston has released its sixth annual Report on the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) showing how the state’s largest homelessness prevention program saved Massachusetts $33 million and helped 1,710 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 $4.4 million RAFT investment helped 1,710 families resolve a housing crisis that may have led to homelessness. With nearly 1,000 of the families potentially eligible for shelter, keeping them stably housed saved the Commonwealth up to $33 million.

Other Key Findings:

  • Due to the continued investment by the Commonwealth, Metro Housing assisted 86% more families last year than it did in 2013.
  • Metro Housing provided RAFT assistance to 23% more families in FY19 compared to FY18.
  • However, the average RAFT benefit decreased from $2,688 in FY18 to $2,599 in FY19.
  • Metro Housing was able to serve 525 households who qualified under the expanded population, with assistance valued at $1.3 million. Expanded populations are households of any composition, including individuals.
  • 86 percent of households that received RAFT assistance from Metro Housing in FY19 were headed by women.
  • At least one family was assisted in each of the 29 communities where Metro Housing provides RAFT. 46 percent of the households that received RAFT from Metro Housing in FY 2019 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 National Low Income Housing Coalition report (Out of Reach, 2019), a Boston area household must earn $42.19 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment without paying more than 30% of their income on housing.

“Thanks to the commitment of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Metro Housing is able to continue to help all households – now including individuals – with the resources needed to remain stably housed and avoid eviction,” said Metro Housing Executive Director Christopher Norris. “Our reports continue to show the positive impacts of the RAFT program.”

To access the full report, visit bit.ly/RAFTFY19

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 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.


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