13 Dec Homelessness Prevention Program Saves Commonwealth $31 Million in Greater Boston
Boston, MA – Metro Housing|Boston has released its fourth annual RAFT IN REVIEW report showing how the state’s largest homelessness prevention program saved Massachusetts $31 million and helped nearly 1,500 families in greater Boston avoid homelessness.
The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) program provides families with a small amount of cash assistance and provides an option to having to enter emergency shelter. Metro Housing|Boston administers RAFT in Boston and 28 surrounding communities.
In Metro Housing’s 29-community Greater Boston service area, the $3.8 million RAFT investment helped 1,474 families resolve a housing crisis that may have led to homelessness. Nearly 1,000 of the families were potentially eligible for shelter. Keeping them housed likely saved the Commonwealth $31 million.
Other Key Findings:
- 356 families received RAFT funding via Metro Housing’s colocation sites in Chelsea, Somerville, Quincy, and Waltham. There were 430 referrals from those sites, an increase of 131 from FY16.
- A pilot program during FY17 expanded RAFT eligibility to include families of all sizes and configurations. Under this program, Metro Housing served 60 households, 31 of whom were individuals and 27 of whose head of household had a disability.
- Due to the continued investment by the Commonwealth, Metro Housing assisted 60% more families last year than it did four years ago.
- The average RAFT benefit decreased from $2,694 in FY16 to $2,614 in FY17.
Boston is one of the most expensive cities to live in in the United States. According to a Boston Foundation report released last month (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.
“For four years running, 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.”
To access the full report, visit http://www.metrohousingboston.org/news-events/publications/.
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.