PRESS RELEASE 




Local Affordable Housing Provider and Nonprofit Team Up to Create $2,000,000 Rental Assistance Fund

HNN Communities, Washington’s Largest Affordable Housing Provider, and Housing Connector Create New Rental Assistance Pilot as Government Relief Ends

 

 

Washington— June 7, 2022 – Today, HNN Communities and Housing Connector launched Washington’s first private rental assistance pilot program for affordable housing residents. The $2,000,000 pilot program will support HNN Communities’ residents to offset the impact of rising rents.

The rental assistance program is made possible by a philanthropic donation from the ownership coalition of HNN Communities’ parent company, DevCo.

The new rental assistance funding is available for eligible residents living at any of the 39 HNN Communities’ properties. As the state’s largest affordable housing provider, this means that 21,000 residents are eligible to apply for relief funds if they are in need of support. Over 80% of HNN Communities’ households earn less than 50% of the area median income (AMI). Rental assistance will be available to cover rent payment differentials from August to December 2022.

“We understand that the rising costs of rent can present a challenge for our residents facing financial hardships, which is why it was essential to us to invest in providing immediate support,” said Alison Dean, President of HNN Communities. “Our partnership with Housing Connector allows us to assist residents with tangible, accessible resources, while ensuring the process is fair and professionally managed for all residents.”

Inflation is driving up the housing costs across the Puget Sound region. Critical items like building materials and maintenance have increased as have the wages of the skilled on-site employees that support low-income residents. Meanwhile, HNN Communities did not increase rents for over two years and invested over $4.3 million dollars to support residents during COVID-19.

Given rising costs, rental assistance is needed now more than ever.

HNN Communities and Housing Connector are partnering on this initiative to provide a fair and seamless experience for residents. Housing Connector, a nonprofit that works with property owners and managers to lower barriers to safe and affordable housing, was selected to review applications, oversee eligibility, and distribute rental assistance funds.

“We are excited to continue working with HNN Communities to lead efforts to further rent relief programs,” said Shkëlqim Kelmendi, Housing Connector’s Executive Director. “By working directly with our housing provider partners we are able to find solutions to keep more residents and families housed.”

HNN Communities and Housing Connector have a long-standing partnership which already placed over 1,200 people in need of housing into HNN Communities properties. As a result, HNN Communities housed one tenth of King County’s entire homeless population based on the 2021 point-in-time count. In March 2020, HNN Communities and Housing Connector also worked together, prior to federal funding opportunities, to provide $150,000 in rental assistance for residents.

 

Seattle Rental Assistance Pilot Saw Great Results for Households

HNN Communities and Housing Connector hope the pilot delivers the same great outcomes for families that received support from Seattle’s Housing Levy. In 2018, seven different community-based nonprofit agencies were awarded $2,148,552 in Housing Levy funds. In total, 733 households received rental assistance and case management in six homelessness prevention and two rapid rehousing programs. 99% of households successfully maintained their housing when they exited the program.



About HNN

Our mission is to be a great company that provides outstanding housing. We emphasize common sense in the management of investment properties. We achieve standards of performance that balance short-term return on investment with long-term housing preservation and value. We nurture a reputation of excellence in our housing communities, in our operations and within ourselves. We promote healthy communication, productive teamwork, integrity, and professionalism. We thrive in a work environment that is exciting, fun, and productive. We realize the power of kindness and compassion in our business operations.

About Housing Connector

Housing Connector is a business-to business nonprofit that believes no unit should sit vacant while there are individuals in need of a home. We take a forward-looking approach to partner with property owners and managers to lower barriers and increase access to housing. What results are win-win outcomes that see businesses meeting their bottom lines and households having a place to call home. Through partnerships with Zillow and our Property and Community Partners we have connected over 2,900 individuals to housing since our launch in Q4 2019.