We believe that everyone deserves a safe and healthy home. The primary goal of IHI's service program is to make sure our residents maintain their housing once they move in. This means we do everything we can to help residents understand their leases, secure the resources to pay rent and meet other basic needs, and otherwise succeed in healthy, stable housing.
"I always know that I can call Resident Services when I need help. When there are problems it saves me to know that there's someone who I can get a hold of who will have new ideas or the perfect way to help." -Tanya, single mother of 3
At move-in, every new resident is given written information about Resident Services. Because moving is a chaotic time, Resident Services staff follow-up and personally contact new residents within one month to welcome them to their new homes and explain IHI's services.
IHI staff work with property management to present an annual workshop at each housing site that explains the details of residential leases and basics of landlord/tenant law. Making sure everyone understands their rights and their obligations, as well as who to contact if there are problems, helps avoid unnecessary conflict and paves the way for housing success.
In 2010 IHI staff intervened in 442 potential evictions and prevented most of them - we only had 8 actual evictions for the year.
Because we understand the trauma that results from homelessness, and because we know that preventing it is easier than ending it, IHI takes every step to keep our residents stable in their housing. This includes intervention when a behavior or circumstance threatens a resident's tenancy. Resident Services staff receive every notice issued to residents and respond immediately. The problem might be late payment of rent or a lease violation - whatever it is, we provide relevant resource referrals, educate residents about landlord/tenant law, and make sure that residents are aware of their options and the potential consequences. Read Julie and Shania's
story to learn how IHI's Eviction Prevention Program saved their housing.
When residents can't pay rent on time, IHI waives late fees if they meet with Resident Services staff for a needs assessment and budgeting session. This is how many of our residents begin participating in IHI's financial education and asset building programs. They start with a problem (late rent) and end up proactively improving their financial stability!
In 2010, 803 residents participated in 140 different community events at IHI properties.
Community cohesion is a critical component of vibrant communities, and Resident Services works closely with our property managers to ensure a variety of successful community-building events throughout the year. These include barbeques, community dinners, ice cream socials, and holiday celebrations. In addition, we sponsor volunteer recognition ceremonies, tenant meetings, family nights, and regular activities and events that help neighbors meet neighbors and have a good time.