Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow), a nonprofit organization launched in 2002, has added to its bundle of award-winning services for low-income housing tenants. In partnership with the financial technology platform, Esusu, Rainbow can now help a tenant’s economic hardship by bridging default payments with no-interest loans.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Rainbow to help keep residents in their homes during these difficult times. This partnership merges Rainbow’s exemplary on-site services with Esusu’s microloan offerings, predictive analytics, and rent reporting program to help tenants establish and improve their credit profile and financial stability,” said Abbey Wemimo, Co-founder and Co-CEO at Esusu.
For the last two decades, Rainbow has been lifting the lives of tenants across the nation through a service-enriched housing model, leveraging both onsite Resident Services Coordinators (RSCs) and technology-based solutions. Esusu has been at the forefront of leveraging technology to support financial inclusion and credit building through rent reporting and strategic microloan efforts. Now, Rainbow offers Esusu to its partnering developers, which is especially important during the pandemic when job security fluctuates. After Rainbow establishes the mutual introductions, property owners and managers will work directly with Esusu to determine the cost of the program by reviewing the property’s needs.
“Property owners who use Esusu have seen up to a 25%increase in their on-time rental payments. Our partnership with Rainbow not only helps tenants get back on their feet during times of financial shock, but also helps landlords keep the net operating income (NOI) healthy,” said Samir Goel, Co-founder and Co-CEO at Esusu.
If a tenant has an unemployment situation or is struggling to pay rent, Rainbow will refer that resident to Esusu. Recipients of the no-interest loan will have a 12-month repayment plan, after a three-month grace period. Funds are sent directly to the landlord to cover up to 2 months of rent. Landlords must sign an agreement with Esusu to accept the emergency assistance, and from there, those tenants are eligible and will be encouraged to apply. The algorithms Esusu has built can also identify tenants who may be at-risk of falling behind on their payments, opening up an opportunity to refer them to Rainbow, potentially averting a crisis before it happens.
Finally, Esusu’s rent reporting platform sends on-time rental payment data to the three major credit bureaus – allowing tenants to build and develop their credit scores. Esusu can report up to 24 months of past rental payment history as long as the tenant is on the same lease on which they currently reside. In reporting up to two years of on-time payments, individuals may see an increase of 30-100 points on their credit reports. Individuals who do not have a credit score at all, but report rental payment history with Esusu, could see a jump up to the mid-600s.
“Rainbow and Esusu are aligned in our mission to stabilize the lives of the tenant populations of affordable rental communities. With Esusu, tenants will stay housed at Rainbow-served communities and receive critical services such as immediate employment training and financial assistance,” said Flynann Janisse, Executive Director of Rainbow. “This partnership creates a safety net for residents by providing everything they need for self-sufficiency and long-term tenancy.”
Owners who partner with Rainbow can receive financial incentives such as low-income housing tax credits because the nonprofit is a Certified Organization for Resident Engagement & Services. Developed by Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, the certification identifies quality resident services coordination in affordable rental housing.
Rainbow currently provides high-quality resident services to 126 rental-housing communities, representing 16,384 units across the country. The programs strengthen property performance with improved occupancy and reduced turnover costs.
To learn more about Rainbow, visit https://rainbowhousing.org/.