Alliance Housing is 25 years old. Though many things have changed over time such as staff, leadership, office address, and numbers of properties owned. Our mission and values have remained steadfast. We believe the totality of the following attributes are what sets us apart from most housing agencies and organizations, and make us good stewards of the gifts we’ve received over the years from many generous individuals and foundations.
- We’re in the business of housing people – not screening them out. Everyone deserves a 2nd
- Our operations and decision making begins with the lives and realities of our tenants – balanced with the bottom line. We’ve kept our rents some of the most affordable in the market.
- Our resources primarily cover property management operations and tenant services – not administration, fundraising and marketing. We’re lean and effective.
- Our supportive housing program rewards people for working. Coaching helps parents learn new skills that can help them sustain housing and advance in employment long term.
Remaining committed to these attributes has allowed us to establish a critical niche in the affordable housing world. That may sound like standard nonprofit marketing claims but we’ve got evidence to back it up. Our phones ring off the hook from people who are denied housing because of their criminal, housing or credit history. A quick survey of our scattered site rental property tenants indicates that up to 70% have criminal issues in their background. Many of these tenants have also been homeless or stuck in low wage jobs. Because they’ve been poor, many have eviction, unpaid rent and other bills in their past. Alliance’s 2nd chance policy gives them the opportunity to prove they can be a good tenant. And most are, – they pay their rent, mostly on time, and respect their apartment and neighbors. As a result, our uncollected rent and loss from vacant units is under 5%.
Our tenant’s wellbeing is a core focus in everything we do, from budget changes to our board selection processes. At budget preparation time, the board is always cognizant of the impacts any rent related changes will have on our tenants, especially those living on fixed incomes. Tenants have a direct voice in board decisions because they make up 25% of its members.
In regards to use of our resources, our audit has tracked our expenses over the years to be around 94% programs, 4% management and 2% fundraising. Our management and fundraising percentages have never been higher than 8%.
Our 34 families who are participating in our Northside Supportive Housing for Families program are demonstrating higher wages and monthly income the longer they participate. They earn a $200-$300 monthly subsidy when they are working 25-35 hours per month. This gives them a cushion in their monthly budget which helps with saving money and paying off old bills. Some of them are experiencing the longest tenure in housing and employment. In more traditional public rent assistance programs, their subsidies would be higher if they were unemployed – creating (we believe) a disincentive to work.