Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In Massachusetts, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:
HomeBASE (Building Alternatives to Shelter) is an alternative to emergency assistance programs for homeless families in Massachusetts. Households must be eligible for Emergency Assistance (EA) in Massachusetts, who are very low-income households with children that are currently facing homelessness. Eligible families may receive either rental assistance or household assistance. Rental assistance is a two-year benefit and families must contribute 35% of their income towards rent and utilities.
Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program
The Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) helps low income families meet their rental obligations with both a tenant-based and a project-based approach. Tenants pay between 30% and 40% of their net income towards rent, depending on tenant income, household size, utilities included and location.
Residential Assistance for Families in Transition
The Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development in coordination with regional nonprofit housing agencies. The program provides short-term financial assistance to low income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. To be eligible a household must include at least one dependent child under the age of 21 or a pregnant head of household. Eligible households will receive up to $4,000 in a 12-month period to pay for expenses to prevent homelessness or for moving expenses.