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Keeping Families and Children Housed: Emergency Prevention Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness A Community Based Prevention Program A Program of.

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping Families and Children Housed: Emergency Prevention Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness A Community Based Prevention Program A Program of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping Families and Children Housed: Emergency Prevention Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness A Community Based Prevention Program A Program of Tabor Community Services 308 East King Street PO Box 1676 Lancaster, PA Kay Moshier McDivitt, Director of Housing Counseling (717) extension 120

2 2 Tabor Community Services Our Mission: To rebuild communities by helping families find housing and financial solutions HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1971 A Member of the National Federation of Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies since 1988

3 3 Services and Programs Homelessness and Rental Counseling Division –Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness –Shelter to Independent Living (Housing First) –Supportive Housing Programs Financial and Homeownership Counseling Division –Consumer Credit Counseling Services –First Time Homebuyer and Default Mortgage Counseling –Matched Savings Account (IDA) Programs –Family Self Sufficiency and Homeownership Voucher Choice Programs (Contracted through Housing Authorities.

4 4 Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness: A prevention model The mission of the Rental Counseling to Prevent Homelessness Program is assist families facing eviction and/or homelessness to retain or find alternative housing through housing and budget counseling

5 5 RCPH Basics Program model in place since 1980 with some modifications Current staffing: 1.5 FTE direct service staff Annual Budget: $106,638 Average Households Served/year: 120 Average Length of involvement in services: 3-6 months Average cost per household: $889

6 6 Key Design Elements  Community Based Model  Outreach/Identification  Landlord Involvement/Buy In  Collaborations with the Faith Based Community and Service Providers  Case Management coupled with Budgeting Education  Follow-up

7 7 Who do we serve? 70% of households earned less than 30% of median income 51% single parent/female headed households; 27% two parent headed households 80% lived in rural “poverty pockets” in the community

8 8 Community Based Satellite Offices in Targeted Low Income Areas in the County –Identified low income pocket areas experiencing higher incidences of rural homelessness Supportive Service Contracts with affordable housing communities for on site services –Marketed program services as an alternative to traditional on-site supportive services stabilizes the community with less turnover, longer term leases results in healthier communities cost effective (avoids costs of filing for evictions)

9 9 Outreach/Identification Develop outreach strategies to identify those most at risk Identify who in the community can assist with the outreach –Landlords/Property Managers –School Social Workers –Housing Authorities –Food/Clothing Banks –Churches

10 10 Landlord Buy In View landlords as a partner/not as the “bad guy” Identified landlords as key to identification and early intervention Developed tools for landlords to identify and refer families In lieu of filing for eviction, refer to program for intervention Win/win for landlord and tenant –Cost effective, less turnover

11 11 Collaborations with the Faith Based Community and Service Providers Bring sources that provide housing dollars together for more effectiveness Partner with churches to provide housing dollars into a single fund for those participating in program Partner with service providers who provide rental assistance –Community Action Program: HAP $$ –Welfare office: TANF Emergency Grant $$ –Salvation Army –Council of Churches

12 12 Case Management coupled with Budgeting Education  Case Plan identifies all issues contributing to pending eviction  First Step is often mediation/advocacy between landlord/tenant: Open communication  Next step is identification of need community resources to resolve issues  Budget counseling and money management education key element

13 13 Successful Interventions  One-on-one counseling/develop a trusting relationship  Budget & money management education  Landlord/tenant mediation and advocacy  Forbearance agreements  Locating alternative affordable housing  Increasing or sustaining income,  Educating the tenants on their rights and responsibilities

14 14 Follow-up Once eviction or homelessness is prevented, 3-6 months follow-up case management assists with budgeting and referrals to other services needed for ongoing self sufficiency

15 15 RCPH: Results 95% avoided entering the homeless system –67% retained their current housing –28% rented alternative housing 89% successfully completed landlord/tenant education 88% developed and maintained a balanced budget 52% were involved in landlord mediation 65% increased their income

16 16 Getting Started with Limited Resources Determine who your target population will be Focus your services in a concentrated effort Engage landlords as a key player in a successful program Develop good outreach and identification tools to ensure services match needs Partnerships are essential; pooling resources with other providers can make more impact

17 17 Final Thoughts/Lessons Learned Early identification helped stretch our resources We need to continue to evaluate and refine our target population; first come first serve is not effective use of resources Build on successes, especially in developing faith based and landlord partnerships.

18 18 Kay Moshier McDivitt Director of Housing Counseling Tabor Community Services, Inc. 308 East King Street, PO Box 1676 Lancaster, PA , ext 120


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