Welcome to Metro Housing | Boston's FY21 Impact Report
In many ways, this annual report feels much like last year’s. Because of impact of the ongoing pandemic, we remain as focused as ever on getting emergency housing assistance in the hands of the renters and property owners who need it. Yet this past year also had other important lessons for us all.
The need for emergency financial assistance to maintain housing stability as we go to print continues at record levels. COVID-19 has impacted all of us in so many ways, but none as severe as not being able to pay your rent or mortgage while facing eviction or foreclosure.
This year, Metro Housing distributed $63 million in total funds in support of 10,251 families, a significant increase from 1,805 families and $5.1 million last year. What was previously known as RAFT now encompasses multiple federal, state, and local funding sources to address the demand. To help meet this increased need, the number of our staff increased more than 50%.
We did not do this alone. All levels of government across the state responded with increased funding, programmatic flexibility, and innovative vehicles for expanding our collective impact. As a result, Massachusetts statewide distributed nearly $1.5 million a day in emergency housing payment assistance.
Nearly 11,000 low-income households received rental subsidies in FY21 through federal and state funded programs administered by Metro Housing. This included more than 8,200 federal vouchers such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, and more than 2,700 via the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP).
FY21 also gave us many reasons to pause and reflect on racism in our country. As we have previously stated, we all must use our voices to call for changes that will increase opportunity for everyone, including the reform of our criminal justice system, increasing public school funding and job training, and investments in more affordable housing for families with the lowest incomes. We will continue to use our position as a leader in the affordable housing arena to prompt federal, state, and local decision-makers to eliminate the barriers to economic and social mobility faced by people and communities of color.
Internally, and in a direct response to the renewed focus on racism, a small group of dedicated staff members launched Metro Housing United and Standing Together (MUST). This group’s goal is to implement anti-racism events for their colleagues across the organization. Twenty staff members make up the planning committee that highlights contemporary social issues and plans events to increase awareness and foster equity at Metro Housing.
Further on in this report, you will read the personal stories of families and individuals who have been helped by the many programs and services offered by Metro Housing – including Specialized Intensive Programs & Services (SIPS), ACO (Accountable Care Organization) Flexible Services, and Family Economic Stability (FES). We are certain that you will be as encouraged by their successes as we are.
In closing, we wish to thank all of our generous donors and community partners who continue to support our work in ensuring that everyone in Greater Boston has a place to call home. Metro Housing raised more private dollars last year than ever before in our history. Your ongoing – and increasing – dedication is yet another hallmark of this past year.
Christopher T. Norris