Key Partners • City of Greensboro – NDD • Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro • Greensboro Housing Coalition • Community organizations
Greensboro’s extremely low-income renters are often at risk of homelessness due to the proportion of their income they must pay towards rent. HUD defines ‘literal homelessness’ as an individual or family lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence . Many of the City’s extremely low-income renters pay more than half of their monthly income towards rent, making them vulnerable to becoming ‘literally homeless’ in cases of substandard housing, loss of funds, evictions, or other reasons that cause displacement. Greensboro has one of the highest eviction rates in the country, according to a survey by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. Short-term rental assistance is one tool to help reduce evictions and displacement and keep residents in their homes. Greensboro’s existing partnerships have had significant impact in keeping residents housed during times of crisis. Since 2013, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (CFGG), the Greensboro Housing Coalition (GHC), the City, and a combination of other public contributions have funded the City’s Emergency Tenant Assistance Program (ETAP), formerly the Landlord-Tenant Partnership Fund. In the past seven years, the Fund has granted over $450,000 to assist more than 230 renter households in procuring short-term rental solutions during relocation and amidst displacement. The Fund has been used and scaled in times of citywide emergency, such as the 2014 Heritage House condemnation and the 2018 tornado. In 2018 and 2019, Greensboro approved up to $60,000 towards this fund and contributed almost $30,000 to support relocation of Cone-Summit and Georgetown Manor residents. Greensboro should build on the success of this existing program, as well as the recently-launched Eviction Resolution Pilot Program, to codify rules and procedures, and scale up to proactively offer short-term rental assistance to at-risk residents. While Greensboro builds new housing, it must simultaneously act to prevent homelessness for its lowest-income renters. Greensboro is committed to this goal through the Eviction Resolution Program, a new partnership between GHC, Legal Aid, UNCG, and CFGG to allow those referred by Legal Aid to remain in their current housing. With a pilot funding amount of $100,000, the program will begin with six cases and aim to serve up to 100 households. Building off this pilot program, developing a formalized short-term rental assistance program that leverages additional external funding will help expand the City’s pre-eviction capacity and impact. Greensboro should formalize a program to proactively provide short-term rental assistance to residents at risk of homelessness. Short-term rental assistance can help low-income residents at risk of homelessness retain housing in times of crisis, keeping the City’s affordable housing gap from growing larger and preventing the need for emergency assistance.
1. Dedicate annual funding
2. Codify program design and establish a Memorandum of Understanding with CFGG and GHC
3. Release RFP for program administrators
4. Establish additional partnerships with community organizations to increase funding pool
Anticipated Cost to Implement: ~$150K To serve 75 households on an annual basis