Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) provides low-income families who are at risk of becoming homeless with one-time housing assistance.

Unlike the HomeBASE Household Assistance program, which primarily helps homeless families move from family shelter into housing, RAFT helps families, who are at risk of becoming homeless, to remain housed.

RAFT helps low-income families, earning between 30 and 50% of area median income. It provides assistance of up to $4,000 in a 12-month period to help families pay security deposits, first and last month’s rent, moving expenses, rent, utility and mortgage arrears, and other housing-related expenses.

RAFT was created in 2005, and is administered by the Regional Administering Agencies (RAAs) at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). From FY 2006 and prior to the economic crisis in late 2008, RAFT received $5 million in funding annually. When the federal Recovery Act provided Massachusetts with $44 million over 3 years for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), a program much like RAFT, funding for RAFT was reduced significantly.

More recently, in an effort to help low-income families avoid homelessness altogether, the state has increased funding for RAFT.

Updated January 2017

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