Building a Better RAFT

Improving Access to Emergency Rental Assistance in Massachusetts

May 25, 2023

The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program, better known as RAFT, is a vital lifeline for thousands of families each year who find themselves in danger of homelessness. It provides temporary housing resources to thousands of families each year, thanks to the critical partnership of community-based organizations (CBOs) and regional administrators, who make the complicated system easier for recipients. But could RAFT be more effective? The answer is unequivocally yes. In this report, four organizations with experience in the housing sector - TBF, CHAPA, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay - draw up a list of policy recommendations that could make resources easier to access and more available to families in need.

In addition to increasing funding, the brief calls for efforts to simplify and streamline a fragmented system, reduce burdens on applicants for RAFT, and provide resources and other supports for CBOs to better serve applicants throughout the process.

Building a Better RAFT cover