Stabilizing Housing by Building Stronger Relationships

Stabilizing Housing by Building Stronger Relationships

With a grant from York County’s COVID-19 Response Fund, Tenfold, a local nonprofit organization, developed a plan to help stabilize the rental housing market in York during the pandemic.

The York Rental Stability Network (YRSN) is a referral-based program offering two services: landlord risk-mitigation program and housing stabilization services. The goal is to avoid eviction by establishing partnerships with tenants, property owners, and service providers. The Landlord Risk-Mitigation program empowers property owners to foster productive conversations to reduce the owners’ financial risks. Additionally, the Housing Stabilization services offers Informal Housing Resolution sessions and legal service referrals when appropriate.

The program does not assist tenants with money; instead, it offers support during tenancy to help address issues between landlords and tenants through mitigation funding, mediation services, and access to legal aid. Alaina Herbst, manager of the York Rental Stability Network, says the grant will allow the organization to provide services to about 100 families over the next two years. “We have met with 16 Social Service Providers and three property management companies. Additionally, we hosted a landlord forum, and invited many landlords to learn about the YRSN program offerings,” explained Alaina.

The first two months of training consisted of Social Service and Landlord/Property Management outreach meetings, “and we will continue the process of doing outreach to assist tenants and landlords,” she continued. “Eviction and displacement have been shown to lead to long-term impacts on health and housing stability,” shared Brittany Mellinger, Tenfold’s Director of the Housing Equality and Equity Institute.

“By keeping people in stable housing, or transitioned to new housing, this program seeks to combat the challenges that have escalated during the pandemic — few available housing opportunities and challenges with current landlords and housing situations.”