By Aaron Gornstein, POAH President and CEO and Julianna Stuart-Lomax, Vice President Community Impact
Over the last several years, POAH has dramatically increased investments in our residents. We have more than doubled the size of our Community Impact portfolio – from 38 sites in 2017 to nearly 100 today, all of which are supported by a Community Impact coordinator who is integrated with the property management team.
We know our programs won’t be successful if residents don’t remain stably housed. Our staff work hand-in-hand to address barriers that residents might face – whether it’s trouble paying rent, lowering their healthcare costs, finding fresh and affordable food, or managing their heating bill. But, we also know that most residents want to grow their assets and build wealth over the long-term.
That’s why we’re launching a new initiative: POWER: Providing Opportunities for Wellbeing and Equity for Renters. Through POWER, all our residents will have access to the tools they need to reach their financial goals. Starting in 2024, the POWER initiative will:
- Provide personalized financial coaching delivered by trained professionals, covering key topics like income, assets, credit and debt. Building on POAH’s commitment to digital equity, all coaches are available virtually, so residents can participate from the convenience and comfort of their own home.
- Enable rent reporting to help residents build their credit each month when they pay their rent on-time.
- Expand the highly successful Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program to every eligible POAH property, enabling families to increase their earnings and build assets.
- Support access to homeownership for residents through a new downpayment assistance fund.
- Expand our GROW Center model to create hubs of opportunity across POAH’s portfolio. GROW Centers provide a range of employment and financial services, ensuring every resident who wants to start, change or grow a career will have the employment coaching they need to get there.
We want to support residents in reaching their goals – whether its growing in their career, preparing for homeownership, or saving for a rainy day. That’s the power of POAH’s housing.