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CONNECT and Metro Housing: A Match Made in Chelsea


CONNECT, part of The Neighborhood Developers (TND) in Chelsea, is one of the many colocation sites in Greater Boston served by Metro Housing and offers many supportive services to residents of Chelsea, Revere, and Everett.

Metro Housing works closely with CONNECT specifically by providing assistance to residents needing help to avoid losing their home.  

Starting during the pandemic and continuing through the current and intensified housing crisis, the need for rental assistance has increased significantly. To address this demand, Metro Housing staff trained CONNECT team members on how to help tenants apply for rental assistance through the RAFT program.

“The partnership between Metro Housing and CONNECT has helped many, many tenants in Chelsea avoid eviction and displacement," said Rafael Mares, Executive Director of TND. “The results speak for themselves. Overall, together we have helped over 2,000 households in Chelsea apply successfully for over $12 million in rental assistance.”

CONNECT offers a number of services to community members with the notion that a partnership of multiple organizations gives clients convenient access to multiple services to meet their many needs. Not only do they work with tenants that are facing displacement, but also for those who are looking for jobs, health resources, financial coaching, and other public benefits.

"The partnership between Metro Housing and CONNECT has helped many, many tenants in Chelsea avoid eviction and displacement." 

Mirna Garcia is Metro Housing’s Colocation Case Manager and works directly at CONNECT. “We see the person as a whole. We don’t just see their housing problem,” she said. “We look at all of the issues that are impacting the family. That way we can address the causes of the housing instability.”

Kavish Gandhi is the Housing Assistance Hotline Manager at CONNECT and notes that recently more families have been applying and for higher amounts.

“Our partnership with Metro Housing has been incredibly valuable to all of our work,” said Gandhi. “The fact that we can expedite and make sure that applications are approved has avoided probably thousands of evictions throughout the last two or three years. Without the partnership between Metro Housing and CONNECT, we would not be able to assist anywhere near the number of households that we are able to assist right now.”


No matter where families and individuals are on the housing continuum, Metro Housing meets them where they are, including in their own communities. Metro Housing partners with local organizations to supply vital housing support services to residents who have low and moderate incomes. Through these collaborations with community organizations, residents access multiple services convenient to where they live, in familiar locations that are physically and culturally accessible.

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