PLATINUM2024

Metro Housing|Boston

People First. Housing Always

aka Metro Housing   |   Boston, MA   |  https://www.metrohousingboston.org/

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Mission

We mobilize wide-ranging resources to provide innovative and personalized services that lead families and individuals to housing stability, economic self-sufficiency, and an improved quality of life.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since 2019, we have added twelve new members to our board of directors, eight of whom identify as people of color. We have also purposefully and deliberately addressed the diversity of life experience that was previously lacking on our board. While our board composition has historically been dominated by banking and finance professionals, the additions we have made have shifted the dynamics to be more broadly representative. The addition of a former participant brings a vital perspective to our decision-making: someone who has benefitted from the programs and services we provide and has an intimate understanding of what works and what needs improvement. Similarly, we have added a small property owner to the board, as more than 80% of the property owners we work with fall into this category. Additionally, one of our new additions to the board is a former resident of subsidized housing here in Massachusetts, representing a large subset of the participants we serve.

Ruling year info

1983

Executive Director

Mr. Christopher T. Norris

Main address

1411 Tremont Street

Boston, MA 02120 USA

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Formerly known as

Boston Housing Partnership

Metropolitan Housing, Inc.

Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership

EIN

04-2775991

NTEE code info

Housing Expense Reduction Support, Rent Assistance (L82)

Housing Search Assistance (L30)

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Housing Supports

In addition to publicly funded stabilization programs, Metro Housing provides a portfolio of Housing Supports tailored to the unique needs of low- and moderate-income Greater Boston residents. These privately supported initiatives command only 15% of our operating budget but serve as a critical force multiplier for large-scale governmental interventions by filling coverage and resource gaps for at-risk residents. Our Housing Supports division delivers enhanced service access and outreach to vulnerable populations in the communities where they live and work, providing eviction prevention, housing search and rehousing resources, and connection points to opportunities for financial skill building, income maximization, and educational and workforce training. These flexible and responsive supports meet our participants wherever they are on road to economic security, helping them to clear high barriers to housing stability and link to mental and physical healthcare services.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families
Adults

Our Colocations program extends our service delivery far beyond our Roxbury Crossing headquarters, embedding Metro Housing personnel within partner organizations serving low- and moderate-income residents with housing challenges. Staff members hold regular office hours at colocation sites to provide both onsite assistance and a direct portal to the same programs and services available at our Roxbury Crossing headquarters. Metro Housing also facilitates workshops on affordable housing, financial literacy, and other topics of localized interest. Approximately 1,200 individuals and families access our colocations annually.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families
Adults

Green Space is a participant-centric financial coaching program designed to meet the foundational needs of low- and moderate-income families and individuals in Greater Boston. Designed with techniques from the United Ways Financial Empowerment Learning Institute (FELI), Green Space guides participants toward their personal financial goals through community workshops and time-unlimited one-on-one financial coaching. Green Space also provides linkages to housing stabilization resources as needed.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

Fair Housing Project staff members educate tenants and property owners on housing rights and responsibilities. They assist tenants in identifying instances of discrimination, act as intermediaries in disputes with property owners, and help seek reasonable accommodations and modifications. Fair Housing also offers trainings to tenants, property owners, service providers, attorneys, and government agency employees.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities
Families
Adults

In addition to the annual administration of more than $180 million in state and federal housing vouchers, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts entrusts Metro Housing with the disbursement of Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) and Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funding in the Greater Boston area. In combination with our internal direct service programming and external community resources, governmental programs like these allow us to comprehensively meet the needs of vulnerable residents. Our case managers help participants quickly access these emergency funds as well as other benefits that can help a family preempt eviction or secure new housing. In FY21, Financial Assistance distributed $63 million in funds in support of 10,251 families, a significant increase from 1,805 families and $5.1 million in the previous year. We increased the pace of distribution in FY22, distributing $162.5 million to more than 18,000 households.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Our Leased Housing department administers approximately 11,000 state and federal housing vouchers annually, helping participants and property owners navigate the complex voucher application and lease-up process. Leased Housing also facilitates the federal Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. FSS is designed to help families achieve self-sufficiency and reach financial, educational, and career goals through supportive services and asset-building escrow accounts.

Our Housing Inspection Services program delivers 20,000 inspections annually for families in subsidized housing, as well as educational programming and technical support for property owners. Our inspectors forge trusting and mutually-beneficial relationships with both large and small property owners; this clear commitment to supporting our participants convinces many landlords to extend greater latitude to families who may be otherwise difficult to place.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Financial Assistance also operates our Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC), which provides a wide array of housing information, referral and case management services to residents of Greater Boston and 29 surrounding towns and cities. Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), it is the largest of the state’s nine housing information centers. The HCEC is Metro Housing’s ‘front door’, where any resident can access assistance with housing and benefits and be connected to services by highly skilled case managers and housing specialists.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults

Specialized Intensive Programs and Services (SIPS) provides time-unlimited wraparound case management services to vulnerable Greater Boston residents living extremely complex lives coupled with extremely low incomes. SIPS serves high-barrier individuals experiencing chronic homelessness due to factors such as advanced age, active addiction, physical and/or mental disabilities, and histories of incarceration. Many participants referred to SIPS have an absence of positive social connections and histories of termination from services due to challenging behaviors - for some, SIPS represents a final chance at stability. Our case managers engage these participants with high-touch, individualized care, countering the isolation and loneliness endemic to their circumstances with compassion and respect.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Accreditations

NeighborWorks America

National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling

Awards

Community Quarterback Award for Outstanding Community Leadership 2009

Eastern Bank

Affiliations & memberships

Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association

Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA)

National Leased Housing Association

National Low-Income Housing Coalition

Regional Housing Network

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)

Housing Partnership Network

Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC)

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people no longer living in unaffordable, overcrowded housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, People of African descent, People of Asian descent, People of European descent, People of Latin American descent

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers represent the state and federal housing vouchers administered by Metro Housing multiplied by an average of 2.9 individuals per household.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Rents in Massachusetts have reached astronomical heights, with communities in Greater Boston are seeing increases as high as 30 percent over last year. According to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2022 report, nearly one of every four renters is paying more than half of their income to rent. People with the lowest incomes are being hit the hardest and left with the fewest choices.

We believe every person in Greater Boston should always have a place to call home. Metro Housing|Boston’s personalized services help residents of greater Boston bridge gaps in the homelessness prevention and affordable housing system. We help individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes navigate available services, empowering 25,000 households a year to move along the continuum from homelessness to housing stability.

Metro Housing|Boston works seamlessly with government, nonprofits, and corporations to continually increase our impact to the benefit of our participants. With more than 30 years’ experience piloting and implementing housing programs, Metro Housing|Boston has solidified its position as an industry-leading expert on navigating the affordable housing field.

Our broad array of programs and services, as well as our extensive network of property owners and fellow service providers, allow us to address a wide range of housing-related issues, from preventing evictions and homelessness, to helping people find suitable homes, to making rent more affordable.

Metro Housing case managers conduct initial assessments with participants to identify needs, specific barriers, assets, and opportunities, creating a baseline to assess progress along the continuum of housing stability. Due to the unique circumstances of each participant, there is no convenient one-size-fits-all definition of success. Our participants represent a diverse cross-section of at-risk populations with a wide range of assets and needs, and success can take many forms. All of them, however, begin and end with the promotion of stable and sustainable tenancy through Housing First methodology.

The Housing First ethos guiding our programming prioritizes housing retention through stabilization in place or rehousing of displaced participants in safe and secure accommodations. While housing insecurity amplifies the deleterious effects of existing mental and physical health challenges, conversely, housing stability provides the stable base necessary for participants and case managers to jointly address other key social determinants of health and improve overall wellbeing. It represents the fundamental first step in a comprehensive plan of care and serves as the foundation upon which Metro Housing can deploy additional internal and external resources to improve participant mental, physical, and financial health.

Metro Housing|Boston serves the housing needs of more than 25,000 Greater Boston households annually. Our programs and services collaborate with an extensive network of property owners and fellow service providers to help families and individuals attain and maintain safe and suitable housing. We administer approximately 11,000 federal and state housing subsidies for families with children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. In addition to voucher administration, we also provide both walk-in and call-in support to more than 14,000 housing-insecure residents, and we swiftly dispense emergency transition funding to more than 10,000 in-crisis households. Our educational workshops reach tenants, homeowners, and service partners across the region, and we co-locate services with Greater Boston community stakeholders including hospitals, housing providers, and direct service organizations.

In addition to state- and federally-funded voucher administration and emergency rental assistance, Metro Housing has developed an extensive portfolio of Housing Supports tailored to the unique and evolving needs of at-risk residents. Our Housing Supports division offers eviction prevention, rehousing resources, intensive case management, and connection points to opportunities for financial skill building, income maximization, and educational and workforce training.

Housing Supports assists residents with the highest barriers to housing stability, regardless of the severity or duration of their needs. Participants come to Housing Supports with diverse backgrounds, assets, and challenges, and referrals come from a wide range of sources, including government agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, social service agencies, schools, legislators, friends, and family.

The programming under the umbrella of Housing Supports represents only 15% of our operating budget, but these services are a vital force multiplier for our larger-scale government-funded stabilization and homelessness prevention efforts. These flexible supports meet our participants wherever they are on road to economic security, helping them to clear high barriers, link to mental and physical healthcare services, and attain or maintain safe, stable, and sustainable housing.

The community health and economic challenges of the pandemic have vastly increased the demand for Metro Housing’s services, while the constraints of physical distancing significantly interfered with service delivery. We responded by investing in technology and remote infrastructure to shift as much of the work as possible into virtual space, modifying our external and internal processes to balance the housing needs of our participants with our concern for their safety and that of our staff. This evolution of our methods has maintained our high standards of service delivery while simultaneously prioritizing health and well-being for all involved.

Out of necessity for the well-being of our constituents during this time of severe economic upheaval, we have placed an organization-wide focus on preserving endangered tenancies. We have served as the principal conduit for state- and federally-funded rental assistance programs for at-risk Greater Boston residents, distributing Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT), Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), and Emergency Rental and Mortgage Arrears (ERMA) funds that helped vulnerable families avoid eviction and homelessness during a once-in-a-generation pandemic. Through these programs and in combination with municipality-specific investments in rental assistance, Metro Housing distributed $63 million in funds in support of 10,251 families in FY21, a significant increase from 1,805 families and $5.1 million in the previous fiscal year. We increased the pace of distribution in FY22, distributing $162.5 million to more than 18,000 households.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve

Financials

Metro Housing|Boston
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Metro Housing|Boston

Board of directors
as of 04/25/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Terry Saunders Lane

Lane Consulting Services

Term: 2024 -


Board co-chair

Ms. Cynthia Lacasse

Evernorth

Term: 2012 -

Nader Acevedo

Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce

Kevin Boyle

Susanne Cameron

Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP)

Yongmei Chen

Eastern Bank

Cassandra Clay

Clay Associates; Empower Success Corps

Melissa Fish-Crane

Peabody Properties Inc.

Janet Frazier

Maloney Properties, Inc.

Elizabeth Gruber

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Langley Keyes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cynthia Lacasse

Evernorth

Mary-Anne Morrison

Retired – Massachusetts Department Housing Community Development

Richard Muraida

Rockland Trust

Geoffrey Sherman

Cedox Capital

Donald Vaughan

Burns & Levinson, LLP

Michael Widmer

Retired - Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation

Robert Torres

Beth Israel Lahey Health

Demetriouse Russell

Venn Diagram Partners, LLC

Linda Monteiro

City of Boston / Small Property Owner

Denisse Tejada

Owner, On the Edge Nutrition / Former Participant

Peter Munkenbeck

Munkenbeck Consulting

Terry Saunders Lane

Lane Consulting Services

Rafael Mares

The Neighborhood Developers

Trevor Samios

Winn Companies

Taylor C. Shepherd

ML Strategies

Monalisa Smith

Mothers for Justice & Equality

Whitney Demetrius

Citizens Housing And Planning Association

Josef Rettman

NEI General Contracting

Jason Korb

Capstone Communities LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/3/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/22/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.