NNIP Showcase, Part 2 - Building a Better RAFT: Improving Access to Emergency Rental Assistance in Massachusetts
Building a Better RAFT: Improving Access to Emergency Rental Assistance in Massachusetts
Brandon Stanaway, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
When the eviction moratoria enacted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic ended, existing and newly established emergency rental assistance programs were allocated substantial federal funds, relaxed eligibility requirements, and increased dollar award amounts. MAPC evaluated the efficiency of these expanded programs, centering the experiences of community-based organizations, which connected residents to funds. Our findings demonstrate the value of building CBOs more formally into program administration, and highlight critical gaps in program design and implementation, including a disconnect between the people in need of emergency rental assistance and those who can access it, a lack of data on application outcomes, and critical barriers tenants faced during the application process.