WASHINGTON, DC - NeighborWorks America announced that the total number of affordable rental homes owned and managed by its members has surpassed the 100,000 mark – meeting the rental needs of nearly 200,000 low- and moderate- income people. NeighborWorks America leads one of the nation's largest networks of community organizations working in rental housing and plays a leading role in providing safe, decent and affordable rental homes, which provide a foundation for every community. The NeighborWorks America network consists of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
A new national survey commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation, The How Housing Matters Survey, reported that three in five (61%) adults believe that "renters can be just as successful as owners at achieving the American Dream." NeighborWorks America's rental homes serve to meet this expectation by providing stable, safe, and affordable homes that create an environment for success and growth.
"During the economic downturn, NeighborWorks America has served our communities well," said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. "We have not only been at the forefront of working with struggling homeowners during the crisis but have been as committed to meeting the growing need for affordable rental homes. To this end, the NeighborWorks network has reached an important milestone with the announcement of more than 100,000 rental homes in 48 states and District of Columbia owned and managed by 194 members. Our NeighborWorks organizations are committed to building and restoring vibrant communities and are working daily to better serve individuals and families in need of affordable rental home offerings."
"Today's residents may rent because they prefer the ease of renting while others do so because they cannot yet afford to buy a home or because the economic downturn limited their choices," said Chuck Wehrwein , chief operating officer of NeighborWorks America. "Whatever the reason people rent, they should be able to find safe, decent, affordable rental homes so they can be proud of their home and their community. Through our network of member organizations, NeighborWorks America is helping to make that a reality."
Together with its national and local partners, NeighborWorks America provides grants, programmatic support, training and technical assistance to its national network. NeighborWorks America provides $15 million annually in capital investments to its member organizations to support creating and maintaining affordable rental homes.
NeighborWorks organizations have assisted with many rental properties, including the following:
California Self Help Enterprises (Visalia, CA) created Rancho Lindo Apartments: a multi-family housing complex which benefits low-income farm workers and their families. The resident program at Rancho Lindo works with many community partners to provide services such as job training, health and medical services, financial training and home buyer education. Of the 44 homes on the property, five are dedicated to families at 35 percent of area median income (AMI). There are 16 available for families and 50 percent AMI, 20 homes at 55 percent and 3 available at 60 percent. Also, 3 homes are accessible for those families that may be dealing with disabilities.
Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) (Kingston, NY) developed Woodstock Commons , a 53-home intergenerational housing campus in the hamlet of Woodstock, NY. Woodstock Commons offers 20 homes for seniors, 33 homes for families, including 12 homes dedicated to working artists. Woodstock Commons is one of the pilot programs in New York State in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development program.
Housing Resources of Western Colorado (Grand Junction, CO) purchased and rehabbed the Phoenix Project, where Homeless veterans in Mesa County, Colorado have access to affordable, stable housing. The program can house eight veterans in an apartment complex owned and operated through a partnership formed between Housing resources of Western Colorado and Homeward Bound of the Grant Valley. Residents of the Phoenix Project benefit from close proximity to the local Veteran's Affairs hospital. Housing Resources' partner, Homeward Bound, provides case management services. Seventy-nine percent of program participants have successfully completed the program and progressed to permanent housing.
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.