11 Dec Update on Current Status of RAFT Applications
December 10, 2020
STATEMENT ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF RAFT APPLICATIONS
Since the start of the pandemic, Metro Housing has completely changed how it approaches the processing of RAFT (Rental Assistance for Families in Transition) applications. Although we have experienced significant delays, we are confident that the triple-threat of increased staff, additional resources from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and deeper relationships with community-based organizations, we will be able to assist families in need more quickly and efficiently.
Getting financial assistance to those in need remains our highest priority. To that end, since July 1 Metro Housing has distributed $5.1 million in RAFT funding to 1,800 households. This is as many households assisted and funds distributed as in all of FY’20.
With new resources made available by the Commonwealth in late October, Metro Housing hired 50 permanent and temporary staff. Though it takes time and resources to properly train new staff in the application process, we prioritized contacting applicants and by the end of November had contacted every person who had submitted an online application. We are also making progress moving applications through the pipeline.
There are 1,800 applications ready to be assigned to case managers. This will begin when training is completed Unfortunately, there are also more than 4,500 applications that have been submitted without all the needed documentation.
Metro Housing continues to work closely with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and our partners at the Regional Housing Network to simplify the application process with the goal of shortening the processing time. We are also working with numerous local nonprofits and advocacy groups to facilitate the processing of the 100 applications we receive every day. We would not be able to reach all the families and individuals in need without these crucial and close partnerships.
We acknowledge that the backlog of applications from prior months, combined with the influx of new applications received, has created longer than usual wait times, resulting in a frustrating and anxious time for families who are at risk of being evicted. We encourage people who have a summary process or a notice to quit to escalate their application by notifying us that they are in the legal process. We also encourage people with a notice to quit or who are in the court process to contact legal services as soon as possible.
Metro Housing is committed to processing completed applications as quickly as possible and to keeping applicants apprised of the status of their applications.
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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