Affordable housing supports families and individuals, low-income seniors, veterans, and the formerly homeless with a place to call home. What makes the space a community are the experiences obtained within. Service-enriched housing programs support residents with tools and resources to pursue higher education, financial literacy, create pathways to employment and sustainable income, and other achievements. At Rainbow, we focus on lifting lives. This creates a ripple effect of the stabilization of communities across the country—all by prioritizing service-enriched affordable housing to help residents of these communities thrive in society.
Affordable housing also has advantages to developers because residents are simply more abundant, creating greater opportunities for real estate investments. By partnering with developers and providing their residents with quality services, service providers improve asset occupancy, reduce turn-over costs, and enrich the quality of life for the renter. In addition to stabilizing resident populations, service-enriched housing also changes the culture of each property. These programs act as both the family and the mentor to get residents where they want to be, pushing them toward their goals.
A study titled Resident Services in Subsidized Housing for Low-Income Families by Adam Dunn contained results highlighting how a robust resident services model offers benefits to residents, property owners and the overall community. In this same study, individuals involved in the youth program saw improvements in their grades. Rainbow offers a variety of programs in both affordable housing properties and senior-living communities, including job readiness, team building, personal development, technology education, health care and financial resource management. These programs inspire low-income residents to gain the ability to become self-sufficient and better themselves as individuals. For seniors, social event planning, exercise programs, basic computer training, as well as medical support, all encourage this type of residents to stay active while building a strong sense of belonging. These programs also improve asset performance, inspiring long-term resident retention.
TRAINING AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Service providers are important for developers in that they focus on residents’ needs in order to eliminate difficulties that increase expenses and turnovers. In some cases, residents who are not able to pay their rent on time are at the mercy of their employment situation. Training and scholarship programs help prepare and educate residents for a stable career. Rainbow’s career readiness programs help residents to understand the spectrum of their career options and the pathways which access them. The program’s focus on foundational personal and academic skills ensures the residents are positioned for success in training or education. The career literacy components ensure the resident’s career goals tap into their passions and their dreams and set them on a rewarding and fulfilling career pathway. All of this works to move the resident toward the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.
As a result of providing award-winning services for residents living in Section 8, affordable, and LIHTC properties, Rainbow helps partners reduce associated expenses much like vacancy loss, legal fees associated with eviction, bad-debt write-off, marketing fees, and turn-over costs. Studies have shown properties with resident services outperform those without the programs. Partners see the results and have a proven return on investment. Rainbow can tailor programs to fit the specific needs of a resident population for the best impact which services a variety of demographics and geographic regions. Residents benefit from a renewed sense of stability and success, enhanced financial security, improved personal health and nutrition, enhanced technological skills, stronger sense of community, improved youth school performance, and safer and healthier environments for children. By partnering with a services provider, an apartment community can better preserve quality, affordable housing for families and individuals across a wide spectrum.
Flynann Janisse is the executive dirrector of Rainbow Housing Assistance Corp., a nonprofit organization that provides service-enriched housing programs for residents of rental housing communities throughout the United States.