Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Homelessness Prevention Program
If you and your family are at imminent risk of homelessness, you may be eligible for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), a state-funded homelessness prevention program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). For state fiscal year 2015, which began on July 1, 2014, RAFT will be funded at $11 million, the highest funding level ever. The program is targeted to families with children under the age of 21 and/or pregnant women with incomes at or below 50% of area median income, with at least 50% of the funds for families at or below 30% of area median income. Eligible families may receive up to $4,000 in a 12-month period to pay for expenses to avoid homelessness or rapidly exit homelessness.
September 2014: Here are the guidelines governing RAFT this year.
September 18, 2013: Please see this handout from Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership to advocates, describing the criteria for RAFT eligibility.
September 3, 2013: The new temporary accommodations program has begun. To better understand this new Seven-Day Temporary Emergency Accommodations program, click here to see handouts from DHCD. (Select "rotate clockwise" for easier viewing.)
August 9, 2013: The RAFT program is up and running again! The state's fiscal year 2014 budget includes $10 million for RAFT, and includes $500,000 to provide alternative shelter ("temporary accommodations") to families experiencing homelessness who otherwise would be heading to stay in places not meant for human habitation. More details on the temporary accommodations program should be available soon from DHCD.
October 3, 2012: To better understand the intersections of the RAFT program with the Emergency Assistance and HomeBASE programs for families, please click here.
October 2, 2012: The 10 regional providers of RAFT, and where they are located, are:
- Berkshire Housing Development Corporation (Pittsfield)
- Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (Worcester)
- Community Teamwork, Inc. (Lowell)
- Franklin Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority (Turners Falls)
- HAP, Inc. (Springfield)
- Housing Assistance Corporation (Hyannis)
- Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development (Lynn)
- Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, Inc. (Boston)
- South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. (Framingham)
- South Shore Housing Development Corporation (Kingston)
August 20, 2012: To better understand the RAFT income limits, click here to see a chart showing 30% of area median income (AMI) and 50% AMI ("very low income") for various parts of Massachusetts.
August 8, 2012: Click here to see helpful RAFT information for providers from Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership in Boston.
Also click here or see below for the latest news from DHCD on RAFT:
"Starting on Monday, August 6th, 2012, DHCD will begin a homelessness prevention initiative through a redesigned Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. The RAFT Program is funded at $8.76 million in the FY13 budget. Families who are experiencing a housing crisis can seek information and resources from the regional Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCEC) as well as the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CHMA) in Worcester and the North Shore Regional Resource Center in Lynn. RAFT will target families who have very low income and are experiencing a housing crisis that would lead to the family becoming homeless. RAFT provides flexible financial assistance designed to meet each family’s particular needs.
All interventions will focus on helping families retain their current housing or obtain new housing in order to avoid homelessness.Link to HCEC Centers:
August 7, 2012: The program is starting to get up and running! Here is the FY'13 Administrative Plan for RAFT. Please note that families cannot apply directly for RAFT. If you are a family in need of homelessness prevention resources, you can asked to be screened by one of the administering agencies to see if RAFT and/or other housing resources may be a good match for your situation. More details to follow. You also can look for more details on the DHCD website: www.mass.gov/dhcd.
August 1, 2012: For state fiscal year 2013, which began on July 1, 2012, RAFT will be funded at $8.76 million. This means that RAFT is once again a statewide program! The program will be targeted to families with children under the age of 21 and/or pregnant women with incomes at or below 50% of area median income, with at least 90% of the funds for families at or below 30% of area median income. Eligible families may receive up to $4,000 in a 12-month period to pay for expenses to avoid homelessness or rapidly exit homelessness.