RENTING PARTNERSHIPS IS A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION (501.c.3) THAT EXISTS TO PROVIDE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT OWN A HOME. RESIDENTS ENGAGE MEANINGFULLY IN COOPERATIVELY MANAGING AND MAINTAINING LEASED HOUSING TO SAVE MONEY AND BUILD FINANCIAL RESERVES. EACH HOUSEHOLD EARNS CREDITS TOWARD FUTURE RENT OR FINANCIAL PAYMENTS. THIS SYSTEM CREATES A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP AND THE SECURITY LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS NEED TO GROW PERSONALLY AND FINANCIALLY.
WHY IS THIS NEEDED? We need a way for low income people to raise their social and economic status which does not require them to buy and sell a home. Americans typically accumulate and store wealth through homeownership but not everyone is able to participate or benefit. The economic divide between owners and renters is growing. Historically, African-Americans were left out of programs and financing for homeownership. One consequence of that is that black wealth barely exists. Today, economic inequality and financial insecurity is becoming more widespread. Renting Partnerships' approach can enable anyone who is left out of ownership to build wealth by participating in the operation of leased housing.
HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE CAN IT MAKE?
The chart to the right shows the maximum value of credits each household can accrue for 10 years. If only 10% of the affordable housing developed each year with federal tax credits were renting partnerships, the wealth of low income households in the U.S. could increase by $1 billion in ten years!
HOW DOES IT WORK? Residents join a leasing community and earn financial credits by committing to at least five years of residency, living by house rules, contributing to the upkeep of common areas and engaging in cooperative problem solving and decision making. Credits are measured by participation and accrue according to a monthly schedule, so commitment is rewarded and the amount is in the resident's control.
High standards for appearance and the quality of life of the community result in saving money that is budgeted for vacancy and turnover. These reserves are used to make financial payments to residents. This approach enables households who cannot buy homes to build the financial security they need to weather emergencies and better their lives. How It Works
Renting Partnerships prevents homelessness, generates wealth and gives people more control over their own lives. Families are able to become stable, financially independent and invested in their communities.
Margery Spinney created the concept of Renter Equity at Cornerstone Corporation for Shared Equity. With Carol Smith as the community manager, they implemented it in three affordable housing projects, totalling 59 units, developed between 2002 and 2012. During this period, the residents built over $140,000 in equity credits even though incomes averaged less than $20,000. A third party evaluation of Renter Equity during their years at Cornerstone was conducted by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and published by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in 2013. The report confirms -
- "Positive impact on residents' lives in terms of their physical and financial security, their optimism about the future and their ties with their surrounding community."
- "Property management costs similar to comparable Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties in the neighborhood, even after taking into account the renter equity credit costs."
- "A majority of residents stay five or more years."
Our work is discussed in Yes! magazine.
This home was rehabilitated for Renting Partnerships in 2015 by the Coalition for Sustainable Communities.
More: Current Initiatives
help us build more communities
You can make a gift or no-interest loan to Renting Partnerships that improves the health and wealth of people and communities that are less fortunate. All donations are tax-deductible. Lenders' principal will be returned when it can be replaced with a new loan. Contact us for more information on how this works
Renting Partnerships: Equity for Renters