Programs that offer classes which help prospective renters acquire and keep decent housing. Many programs are tailored for people who have been denied housing because of poor or no credit, bad references, past evictions, criminal history or other screening barriers. These classes help participants learn how to take responsibility for past rental issues, improve their credit, manage their money, understand the application and rental process, find affordable housing, develop a positive relationship with their landlord and neighbours, and be responsible tenants. Specifics may include information about credit reports and how they are used in the tenant screening process; resources for evaluating an available rental unit and their prospective landlord; the tenant screening process and their rights under fair housing regulations; rental agreements and typical legal (and illegal) provisions; maintenance responsibilities (who is responsible for maintenance and repair of rental unit features); and moving out including notice, security deposits and evictions. Some programs issue a certificate of completion that can be presented to landlords upon application for tenancy. Also included are tenant education programs for high school or college/university students or others who lack experience as a tenant and want to begin their rental experience on a positive note.
Programs that provide cash grants or loans for people who are in the process of acquiring rental housing and who can handle the monthly rental payments, but who do not have the assets to pay the first month's rent, in some cases, the last month's rent, and any security deposits required to move in.
Programs that maintain lists of available rental housing for review by people who are in search of housing. Included is information that is available online, in print or in other formats.
Organizations that make rental housing more readily available to low-income individuals and families by administering federal and local housing programs.
Programs that provide assistance for people are being evicted, either wrongfully or with reason, from their apartments or other rental property. Also included are programs that attempt to prevent eviction and possible homelessness by providing mediation services to negotiate a compromise between an individual and the landlord.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.