Every now and then, we take a look at why people move out of our
apartments. Recently, in analyzing vacancies in our scattered-site
apartments, we discovered that more than ½ of our tenants moved because
they found “equal or better” housing elsewhere. At Alliance, we count it as
a success if our tenants find better housing. Not only do they move up and
move on, but it means another household will be able to move into one of
our very affordable quality units. To give you a sense of what better housing
means, we reflected on some past moves that we’ve reported on before,
and some more recent ones.
In the 2021 Annual Report, we covered the story of Cindy Arnold, who
moved through our rooming house (several times), then on to a studio
apartment, and bought a house a year ago. Cindy is a testament to our belief
that a person can change and should not be judged by their worst day.
Two more success stories come from families that were original participants
in our North Side Supportive Housing for Families program between 2012-
Gloria lived in an Alliance duplex for nearly four years before pulling
together the resources to buy her own home. She shared her story with
our 2017 fundraising breakfast guests. At the breakfast, Gloria thanked
Sue Roedl, program manager, for encouragement and coaching. Gloria added
“access to affordable housing gave me the time to get back on my feet and
prepare to move on with my family’s lives.”
Irena lived in an apartment at 3631 Penn for 8 years. She moved this past
November to a bigger apartment in a better neighborhood with her family.
Alliance allowed her to build a good rental history and manage her budget
over the years so that she could save for this move up.
One of our Pillsbury rooming house residents, Dustin,
was able to move out and move on in 2019 when he
got a Section 8 voucher for an apartment with his
own bathroom and kitchen. Before finding housing
with Alliance, Dustin was homeless for at least three
years. When Dustin first moved into the rooming
house, he had problems with drinking, partying with
drunk friends, and disturbing his neighbors. Property
manager Bob Bono repeatedly redirected bad behavior
back towards lease abiding expectations. Without the
stability of his Alliance home and repeated chances
around expectations, it is doubtful that Dustin would
have been able to achieve this new stage of housing
stability for himself.
There are many more stories like this over the years.
And just in the last few months, two tenants moved
on to better housing opportunities – one created by
Alliance and another who created his own.
Pat has rented from Alliance Housing Inc. since April
2012. His first home was a sleeping room. When the
opportunity arose, Pat moved to 2103 2nd Avenue S,
giving him the additional amenities of his own kitchen
and bathroom. He works twelve-hour days with a
company that picks up junk for a fee, sells and recycles
it. Pat noted and advised that “ I stick to myself. You
can’t make other people’s problems your problems.”
Pat recently provided notice that he was moving. He
bought a tri-plex in South St. Paul. Pat said that
owning his own place, “gives him more control over
his living environment.” He said he had the idea to buy
something for a while. A friend who is a lawyer and
broker gave him some guidance and encouraged him
that he had sufficient money and credit. He eventually
plans to buy a house to live in and use the tri-plex as
income. We have no doubt that he will.
Curtis moved from 143 E. 19th Street in November
2021 to 2103 2nd Ave – a sleeping room to a studio.
Whenever there is an opening in one of Alliance’s
studios – either in our larger properties or in the
scattered-site portfolio – we offer them to tenants in
sleeping rooms who have sufficient income to pay rent
and have demonstrated that they can be lease abiding.
Prior to moving into our 143 E. 19th Street property in
December 2020, he spent some time in jail, sleeping
in his car, at a shelter, and in hotel rooms. Curtis says
that while he appreciated the sleeping room to being
homeless, “I don’t like it that everyone doesn’t have
the same cleaning standards as me.” The first night he
moved in at 2nd Ave., he did something he hadn’t been
able to do before – cook a meal and take a bubble bath.
He loves his new place.
All of Alliance’s units offer permanent housing, not
time-limited temporary housing. Nonetheless, we’re
always gratified when someone moves on to equal or
better housing. They create an opportunity for someone
new, who may need a 2nd chance, to create a home for