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Another way to give: Provide rental property

July 29, 2019

After becoming acquainted with the work of Raleigh Rescue Mission through the church they attend, Dan and Cindy (names changed for privacy purposes) have been generous donors for several years. “When the Director, John Luckett, explained the New Life Plan, he told us that finding affordable housing to transition people into was one of the biggest barriers. We thought, This is something we can do.” Dan and his wife decided to invest in real estate and then rent to the Mission at below market rates, so that individuals who have successfully entered Phase 5 of the New Life Plan could move into their own place at a price within their budget.

Not as easy as they thought.

Dan who recently retired from 42 years in the IT world and Cindy who works in journalism and marketing started looking for a duplex or condominium to invest in, with some specific criteria. When single mothers make it to Phase 5, they’ve finished career training and counseling programs, landed a job, saved enough money to acquire a car from Wheels for Hope, and saved up a few months worth of rent and living expenses. But they are often still relying on the Mission for childcare. For this reason, the property needed to be close enough that children can easily be dropped off and picked up on a workday. “We spent months looking for something we could afford that made sense. A couple of times we thought we had found it, but the deals fell through. We prayed about this a lot.” Finally a few months ago things changed. Additional funds became accessible when Dan’s father passed away. “My father would be very happy about how we’re using his money,” Dan noted. A triplex became available in the perfect location. “We aren’t looking to make money. We hope to break even, and if we don’t we will treat this as part of our tithing,” Dan continues.

Lack of affordable housing in Raleigh and Wake County continues to be a major hurdle for those experiencing homelessness.  The average rent for one-bedroom rental units in this market is almost $1,200 a month. For our clients who have worked so hard to get their life back on track, that amount of money is simply not within their budgets.  “Many of our clients are working to pay off debt, or overcome negative credit ratings,” explains Luckett. “We are looking to create more partnerships like this with our donors. We pay the landlord a rate less than market, the client pays a program fee to the Mission, and we take care of most maintenance and property management. It’s a win-win for our donors, and our clients. Clients who are ready to transition to living outside the Mission have a way to maintain responsibility for their own lives and build a better credit rating and a stronger foundation to continue their forward momentum,” Luckett said. “Of course the ultimate goal is to help clients position themselves to purchase a home from Habitat for Humanity, so having this affordable rental housing is a huge help.”

Meanwhile, Dan is considering getting his realtor license. “A realtor license would allow me to keep my eye on other opportunities for rental property,” Dan said. “We are so impressed with the New Life Plan, and if we can be part of someone’s success, that is very fulfilling.”

Interested in providing rental property like Dan and Cindy? Contact John Luckett at WbuaY@enyrvtuerfphr.bet for more details.