Prosperity Connection Steps Up to Provide COVID-19 Rental Assistance to Those in Need
ST. LOUIS, MO, December 15, 2020 – Prosperity Connection assisted 179 renters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with forgivable rent loan assistance. Renters referred by partnering nonprofit landlords were able to access up to $2,000 in forgivable loans to cover multiple months of rent. Each borrower’s first loan payment was deferred for 60 days. Upon making the first payment, generally between $50 to $75, the remaining balance of each loan was forgiven by Prosperity Connection. Nearly $325,000 in rental assistance was deployed between April and September.
“We realized early into the crisis that Prosperity Connection was uniquely positioned to assist households with low-cost options to help with rent payments,” says Paul Woodruff, Executive Director of Prosperity Connection. “By partnering with nonprofit landlords for referrals, we were able to target our program to benefit mostly low-and-moderate-income families.”
Collaborating property owners included DeSales Community Development, Northside Community Housing Inc., North Newstead Association, St. Louis Housing Authority, and Tower Grove Neighborhood Community Development Corporation. Funding for the program was made possible through the generosity of the Wells Fargo Foundation, PNC Foundation, Equifax Foundation and US Bank Foundation.
“The launch of this program was fast and furious. In roughly 45 days, Prosperity Connection’s team created a new program from scratch and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without the support of our funders and nonprofit landlords, this program would have never gotten off the ground. We’re proud of the effort and glad we could do our part to help distressed renters in our community avoid eviction,” shared Woodruff.
The average forgivable loan issued to participating renters was approximately $1,800. In most cases, participants were able to have between two and three months of rent paid.
“This program offered a legitimate lifeline to many of our residents whose already-precarious situation got turned upside-down by the pandemic. Without a safety net, unexpected events like job loss or health emergencies can put our residents at risk of eviction. This program stepped in to be that safety net. Collaborating with partners like Prosperity Connection allows us to do so much more for our families,” said Mike Ziegler, Community Services Manager from DeSales Community Development.
Program funds were exhausted in September, but Prosperity Connection and its partners continue to refer distressed renters to a variety of other assistance programs.
Prosperity Connection is a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote economic success for everyone in the St. Louis region by providing financial education and access to reliable financial products and services. The organization was founded in 2009 and currently serves several thousand individuals per year with free financial coaching services and classes.