Sometimes we encounter problems with no obvious solutions. For instance, maybe you’ve attempted to solve the following puzzle. Can you connect all nine dots, using only four lines, without lifting your pencil from the paper?
It seems impossible. There is always one dot left- usually the one in the middle. The problem is not unsolvable, but it does require thinking outside the box.
At ANEW Place we encounter similar problems with much greater ramifications. As we work with our guests to chart a path forward and find long-term housing, they often face daunting challenges. Though rarely unconquerable, their situations often require outside-the-box thinking. This is especially relevant to guests graduating our ANEW Leaf transitional housing programs they seek long-term housing: options are extremely limited and the system is frequently back logged.
When guests enter our transitional housing program, they’ve already hit several benchmarks which include…
Here’s the challenge:
*Vacancy rates hover consistently around 1.5%. Our guests often have spotty credit and rental histories, making it tough to compete with university students and young professionals for very limited number of single-occupancy apartments.
*The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment exceeds $1200. With rental prices continuing to increase, the pay of entry-level jobs is seldom enough to cover the cost of living.
*Section 8 vouchers are in low supply and high demand. This situation will only worsen as the cost of living in the Burlington area increases and personal incomes remain level.
The situation for our guests can be deflating. Graduates of the ANEW Leaf transitional housing program average a 10-month wait for an apartment with some waiting well over a year. One conclusion seems obvious: we need to think outside the box of the Section 8 system.
How can you help?
We are searching for landlords with multiple-occupancy units who are willing to rent to ANEW Leaf transitional housing program graduates. ANEW’s two years of after-care case management includes a monthly onsite visit while we also manage each client’s rental emergency fund. In other words, we minimize the risk for the landlord by paying the rent from this fund if our client encounters an unexpected hardship.
If you're interested in continuing the conversation and exploring this opportunity, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.