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The rental crisis across the nation is a growing issue. Residents and tenants are clashing over the astronomical spikes in rental fees that don’t show any sign of decreasing.
Some states are protesting to bring awareness to the need for rental caps, while some see individuals and families facing homelessness due to a lack of financial resources.
Like other forms of historic socioeconomic bias, the trend of housing insecurity is disproportionately experienced by Black women and families.
A new campaign from Washington, DC’s National Foundation for Credit Counselling (NFCC), supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation, aims to reverse this trend.
“Make it R.E.A.L.” (Renter Equity At Last) raises awareness about housing instability and renters’ unique challenges.
Through financial education, testimonials, and inroads to debt management counseling from authorized NFCC advisors – both in-market and via tele-sessions – the campaign aims to mitigate involuntary moves such as notices, evictions, and liens and make housing stability real for all.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is the oldest nonprofit dedicated to improving people’s financial well-being.
“Post COVID-19 rent moratoriums have uncovered a pressing need to assist individuals and families facing housing instability,” said Barry Coleman, Vice President of Program Management and Education at NFCC. “With our partners at the Wells Fargo Foundation, the NFCC launched a summer campaign to educate the public about the instabilities renters face and drive awareness of the resources available to them through the NFCC.”
The Census Bureau reliably estimates 36% of the nation’s households rent. The NFCC recently surveyed over 2000 U.S. renters about their experiences, goals and fears; key findings include:
- Fifty percent of renters have some personal experience with eviction. For Black Americans, that number increases to 57%;
- People 35+ are more likely than people under 35 to blame the tenant (57% to 41%) in landlord-tenant issues;
- Only 36% of people feel they fully understand their “rights and opportunities” when it comes to eviction;
- The dominant emotion associated with eviction is “sadness;”
- Half of those surveyed (50%) aren’t aware that financial literacy and debt management programs for renters exist.
Housing instability involves the inability to pay rent, consistent relocation, overcrowding, and excessive spending on housing.
According to Bloomberg, eight million rental households are currently behind on their rent, with Black families in Southern states experiencing the highest rates of housing hardship.
As a part of the campaign, the NFCC will focus on educating renters about their rights and opportunities. The organization helps consumers develop comprehensive financial plans for credit card debt, student loans, and medical debt.
For more information on the NFCC’s “Make It R.E.A.L” initiative, visit NFCC.org.