Engaged with nonprofit affordable housing building owners to understand the impacts of COVID-19 and develop community-based eviction prevention strategies in neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by housing and health inequities.
Philadelphia has long faced an affordable housing crisis that has led to housing insecurity and health inequities for Black and Hispanic communities across the city. This project, led by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Philadelphia and Wilson Associates, Inc., developed community-based eviction prevention strategies in partnership with six nonprofit building owners in the Eastern North and West Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Strategies for eviction prevention and promoting housing stability were co-designed with partner organizations in three listening sessions. The participants in the listening sessions formed a peer network of primarily residential services and property management staff, where they shared tenant and property management challenges and the resources needed to support housing stability. For many participants, this was a unique opportunity to pool knowledge and compare approaches with staff at other organizations.
LISC Philadelphia had a strong understanding of the connection between housing and health through prior work, including the development of a housing and health vulnerabilities dashboard (hosted by the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University). This project deepened LISC’s understanding of the connection between housing and the health and well-being of residents, and demonstrated how health and well-being also correspond to the stability of nonprofit organizations that manage properties and provide tenant services. When nonprofit housing organizations have financial stability, they are better able to be proactive in finding strategies to support tenants at risk of falling behind on rent payments, and are better positioned to monitor and maintain their properties so that they continue to serve tenant needs.
Residential services and property management staff have a deep knowledge about residents’ daily lives and the conditions of their units. This collective knowledge, along with the formation of a peer network, was instrumental in identifying resource needs for eviction prevention and housing stability. The result of this project is the Housing Stability Pilot Initiative. The Pilot will fund housing stability and eviction prevention strategies identified as most needed through the co-design process, which include unit repairs, rent subsidies, and supportive services. The Pilot will take place from June to December 2023.
LISC will document the findings and lessons learned from the Housing Stability Initiative Pilot and continue to support housing stability through its Non-Profit Preservation Initiative, which aims to support non-profit building owners preserve at-risk publicly assisted affordable rental housing.