Our neighborhood-based housing model enables clients to re-engage with society by being a part of the community.
We house our clients in mostly small, 4-8 unit apartment buildings within neighborhoods all across Madison. Our clients feel that they are a part of the neighborhood and community. They are close to important amenities such as bus stops and grocery stores. More importantly, they know their neighbors and they are accepted as part of the neighborhood. The folks in our programs thrive in this environment.
Our properties (shown below) are located within the heart of many Madison neighborhoods.
This approach to housing is also good for the neighborhoods we work in. Housing Initiatives intentionally purchases foreclosed or devastated properties and renovates them, creating additional new development and safe, affordable housing options in some of Madison’s most challenged neighborhoods.
Often, the City of Madison and other affordable housing agencies are interested in revitalizing a struggling neighborhood, but cannot take on the financial risk of being the first redevelopment in the neighborhood. Housing Initiatives has been the first group to make an investment in challenged Madison neighborhoods, including Allied Drive. Once this vital first step is taken, the City, County, and/or other agencies step forward and begin revitalizing projects nearby. Our properties act as anchors, spurring waves of new development in vulnerable neighborhoods.
It seems easy to get off the street and find a home if the federal government is giving you money for rent, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Madison has a very high rental occupancy rate of 98%, meaning the demand for apartments is much higher than the amount of apartments available. Given all their renter options, most landlords won’t risk renting to a homeless person with no job references, often past evictions, and a mental illness.
Housing Initiatives plays an important role as a liason between homeless individuals and landlords. We’ve developed a Landlord Relations Program that provides support to landlords willing to rent to our homeless clients with unique needs. Housing Initiatives will assist our clients if they have trouble upholding a rent agreement. Landlords understand and appreciate that they can call Housing Initiatives if a problem with the tenant arises. We will visit the renter, assess the situation, and connect the renter with the supportive agency s/he needs to improve their situation and continue to be a responsible renter. We’ve successfully assisted hundreds of people in finding and keeping an apartment, by building strong, long-term relationships with local landlords.