STATEMENT ON THE VERDICT IN THE
DEREK CHAUVIN CASE
The recent verdict in the case of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is one example of accountability in our justice system. However, it does not erase our history of systemic and institutional racism. There is much more to do.
Financial Assistance Tops $10M in March
Staff Added to Meet Increase
As part of the state and federal government response to COVID- housing crises, Metro Housing has increased its organizational capacity and has played its part in helping families and individuals across the region maintain their housing stability.

With the combination of federal funds and Massachusetts’ well-established homelessness prevention program known as RAFT, Metro Housing has impacted thousands of families that would otherwise be at risk of homelessness.

RAFT, together with funds from the federal program called ERAP, has enabled Metro Housing’ to assist more than 11,000 families from July 1 2020 through March 2021, and is on track to help more than 14,000 households through June 30. With more than $11 million going to support housing stability in March alone, Metro Housing has provided $33 million in the first nine months of the fiscal year (as illustrated by the blue bars in the graph above).

Metro Housing continues to add staff in response to the growing demand (illustrated by orange line in the above graph). With just 11 staff in July 2020, the Financial Assistance team is now at 75 staff and processing and helping families who need help with rent.

The uses of the funding have expanded as well. Not only can they be used to preserve and maintain housing stability for tenants, but property owners can directly apply for assistance on behalf of their tenants to help pay their mortgage and protect their investment. Previously capped at $10,000 total, eligible households (those below 80% of the area median income) can now receive assistance for 12 months of rent arrears (no monetary cap), plus an additional three months of forward-paying stipends. 

For additional information, click HERE.
Housing Mobility Program Places First Family
The SNOMass Housing Mobility Program provides a range of supports to help participating families to access and attain residential stability in neighborhoods with high-performing schools, low poverty rates, access to public transportation, and environments that have demonstrated positive health and well-being outcomes for children and adults.

On February 28, the program reached an important milestone when it assisted its first family in relocating to a new home.

Erudia Thevenin (left) moved with her two young children into a 3-bedroom apartment in Milton.

Alexa Shabecoff, SNOMass Manager, along with Case Manager Michael Black and Administrative Assistant Ana Portillo, helped Erudia navigate through the extensive screening process and developed a housing search plan.

Property owners play a pivotal role in the success of the program by agreeing to rent to our participants. Property owners interested in participating in the SNOMass program should reach out to Alexa Shabecoff at alexa.shabecoff@metrohousingboston.org.

For more information on the program, click HERE.
Federal and State Budgets Provide
More Rental Relief
Massachusetts is focusing incoming federal dollars on the most critical housing stability and homelessness prevention programs, while also beginning the budget process for the next fiscal year (FY22) with similar attention to helping families that Metro Housing works with.

The state has committed $400 million in federal resources for rental assistance support through the state’s Eviction Diversion Initiative (EDI). These funds, passed by Congress in December 2020, are expected to be supplemented by hundreds of millions in additional dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March.

The funding highlights of the EDI includes:
  • Expanded income eligibility to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). It was previously 50%.
  • Longer-term support of up to 12 months for rent arrears plus an additional three in some circumstances, an increase from a monetary cap of $10,000.
  • Prioritization for households below 50% of AMI and those unemployed for 90 days or more. ​
  • Additional access to funds for property owners, including income-restricted properties and local housing authorities, to apply for rent support on behalf of their tenants through a new program called Subsidized Housing Emergency Rental Assistance.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has also committed significant state funds to help address the COVID pandemic in their version of the FY22 budget - which passed in the early morning hours of April 29 - while also looking beyond the pandemic to longer-term housing needs. In an appreciation for the flexibility needed to address housing crises, the House version of the bill has included funds for RAFT and the Housing Consumer Education Centers, the latter of which is critical to the outreach and housing services offered by Metro Housing and its partners across the state.