Housing Collaborative, formerly Socialserve, provides resources to aid in the affordable housing crisis and how can you help
Finding a place to live when you are experiencing homelessness can be next to impossible with the increasing cost of rent in Charlotte.
Housing Collaborative, formerly known as Socialserve, is a comprehensive resource and support center for residents and nonprofit organizations to find affordable housing. Each day, they make a difference, collaborating with different people, groups and organizations to increase access to housing by providing flexible, and responsive support.
In 2017, they established the HousingCLT program. The vision was to help local homeless agency partners by managing housing provider relationships on their behalf. Housing Collaborative works with housing providers who are willing to accept those experiencing homelessness.
“We help place people in homes. This allowed homeless service providers such as Roof Above, Salvation Army, Safe Alliance, and Community Link to focus on delivering supportive services that are so critical to help people retain housing and to build their incomes,” stated Tara Peele, president and CEO of Housing Collaborative.
In 2020, Housing Collaborative helped 180 households obtain housing. In 2021, they helped 315 households that were experiencing homelessness. They also coordinated over 750 housing inspections across the state of North Carolina and distributed more than two million dollars in upfront housing cost assistance, such as application fees, security deposits, and first month rent signing bonus to landlords willing to help someone without a home.
“Key to our increased impact was our partnership with DreamKey Partners, a team of experts who are responsible for bringing affordable housing to Charlotte. Our work together administering the local Covid Rent Relief program provided us access to many more housing provider partners,” stated Peele.
The organization has grown tremendously. “Prior to the pandemic, we were only working with about 20 housing providers. Now we work with more than 200. Over the last two years, we have moved over $120 million dollars to help households access and retain housing, and that in turn has helped housing providers,” she continued.
Currently, Housing Collaborative is helping rehouse guests of the Econo Lodge on South Tryon, which is being bought and converted into workforce housing. They are also actively assisting former residents of the Sterling Community, Southern Comfort Inn, and JT Williams Apartments, as well as working with Inlivian to help Emergency Housing Voucher holders secure housing. They are not just limited to people who are actively experiencing homelessness, but also people who are at risk of losing their home.
So, how can you help?
#1: Vote Yes to the Housing Bond referendum on November 8. It keeps the housing trust fund funded. That fund supports construction and preservation of affordable housing.
#2: Make a donation. Just fifty dollars will pay for an application fee for a household. Click here to donate.
#3: Do you know a housing provider? Have them connect with the Housing Collaborative.
Their goal is to make it easier for housing providers to work with program-connected tenants.