Affordable Housing Developer Helps Tenants Stabilize Finances

Affordable Housing Developer Helps Tenants Stabilize Finances

In addition to building and renting affordable housing, NeighborWorks New Horizons offers youth programming and other services to tenants. Photo Courtesy of NeighborWorks.

In a region where many renters struggle to afford their apartments, NeighborWorks New Horizons is not only increasing the supply of housing for people with low incomes. The nonprofit organization also helps its tenant families stay in stable housing, build community and improve their financial situations. 

Using a recent $45,000 multi-year general operating support grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, NeighborWorks New Horizons (NWNH) expanded its resident services team, which serves more than 400 families in New Haven. 

The resident services arm of NWNH offers a variety of services including financial literacy, budget coaching, and tax preparation programs and payment plans that help tenants address delinquent rent. NWNH reported that these programs significantly reduced delinquencies and minimized the harmful effects of eviction on residents. In addition, NWNH offers the Rent Rebate program, that provides vouchers for up to two weeks of rent in return for volunteer work.

The resident services team also builds community. Through NWNH's partnership with LEAP, afterschool and summer programming for young people is offered. The resident services team also brings in guest lecturers who provide learning opprtunities for residents ranging from stress-reducing Yoga classes to fishing field trips. In 2017, NWNH began a new pilot gender-specific program funded by The Community Foundation called Mother/Daughter Circle for girls ages 11-18, designed to increase communication and positive behaviors.

Resident services also provide solutions to inter-neighbor conflicts, complaints, and requests for assistance. The resident services coordinator helps residents who are seeking to make life changes such as commencing or returning to college, employment and career development, purchasing a home or car and seeking help and placement for personal issues. 

For more information about NeighborWorks New Horizons, visit its profile on giveGreater.org.

Did You Know?

"More than half (51%) the renters in Greater New Haven are cost‐burdened, meaning they spend more than 30 of their total income on housing costs."  Source: DataHaven   

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series  produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

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