Following a recent survey revealing that nearly two-thirds (62%) of renters feel insecure about their current housing situation, a new initiative has been launched by the National Foundation for Credit Counselling (NFCC).
The program, supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation, wants to change that narrative and reverse that trend. Make it R.E.A.L. (Renter Equity at Last) aims to raise awareness about housing instability and other serious challenges renters are up against.
“Post COVID-19, rent moratoriums have uncovered a pressing need to assist individuals and families facing housing instability,” said Barry Coleman, NFCC’s vice president, program management and education, in a written statement. “With our partners at the Wells Fargo Foundation, the NFCC launched a summer campaign to educate the public about the instabilities renters face and drive awareness of the resources available to them through the NFCC.”
The initiative will help renters via financial education, testimonials, and inroads to debt management counseling from credit counselors authorized by the NFCC. They will be able to obtain help in person and via tele-sessions. The campaign is an attempt to mitigate involuntary moves such as notices, evictions, and liens, and make housing stability real for all.
According to Bloomberg, 8 million rental households are currently having issues paying their rent and are behind in payments. Black families in Southern states are experiencing the highest rates of housing hardship.
Fifty percent of renters have had personal experience with eviction. For Black Americans, that number increases to 57%.
People over the age of 35 are more likely than people under 35 to blame the tenant in landlord-tenant issues (57% vs. 41%).
Only 36% of people feel they fully understand their “rights and opportunities” when it comes to eviction.
The predominant emotion associated with eviction is “sadness.”
Half of those surveyed (50%) aren’t aware that financial literacy and debt management programs for renters exist.
Make It R.E.A.L. will focus on educating renters about what is available to them, and develop comprehensive financial plans addressing credit card debt, student loans, and medical debt. Renters, therefore, will be better equipped to combat unsecured debt and put themselves in a better position to prevent eviction or foreclosure.
Source: Black Enterprise