In fiscal year 2020,
the Tenant Services Program of Voice of the People in Uptown was renamed as the Resident Opportunity Services Program (ROS), in part, to help bridge the negative context of landlord-tenant relations. And, to convey that tenants actually are residents of leased homes– places that should be cherished and maintained. Voice apartments are homes with residents who through ROS can access problem-solving and resource-rich opportunities for a better quality of life.
ROS includes both Legacy Tenant Service Activities and Resident Support Services. Through refreshed organizing efforts, collaborative engagement of residents, increased sophistication of information systems, and development of support services, Voice seeks to connect residents to opportunities that improve the quality of their lives, while expanding its outreach and impact in the community with Voice Volunteers.
Resident Support Services
connects individual residents and family members with social, cultural, educational, recreational and economic opportunities.
Service Plans and Goal Setting: Interested residents work with ROS staff to develop goals pertaining to an identified area of focus. Part of this process includes completing a individualized needs assessment. These goals will provide the base for the resident’s service plan, which will be updated periodically as goals are met or the focus area changes.
Referral & Financial Self-Sufficiency Services: ROS staff provides residents with referrals to outside resources and programs. ROS staff conducts follow-up with residents and the organization to ensure access and service provision. At other times, ROS directly or in collaboration other affordable housing providers, delivers lifeline economic and family assistance, assuring housing stability in good times and bad, and, delivers coachiing or workshop training assistance as with the “Economic Assistance & Financial Empowerment Project”.
Transitional Services: When residents leave Voice properties, ROS staff works with them prior to moving, ensuring that there is a transition and housing plan in place. Voice will provide support services and referrals as necessary to ensure housing stability, and ROS staff will continue to work with residents as needed for up to six months after exiting the program.
Senior Services Initiative: Because of the growing needs and numbers of 55+ seniors, multi-generational families in Voice-sponsored housing, ROS staff have begun delivering economic and social support services detailed above directly to them, thanks to early grant support of the RRF Foundation for aging and donors like you.
Legacy Tenant Services
focuses on leadership development, community engagement, and empowerment activities through community organizing.
Participatory Property Management
Property Management Collaboration:
ROS staff works in partnership with property managers to ensure resident housing stability by preemptively addressing concerns, such as: re-certification, reporting income changes, rent payments, work orders, etc.
Welcome Wagon and Tenant Orientation:
Along with lease documents, ROS and property management staff provides new residents with a welcome packet, which includes information on the residents’ rights and responsibilities and available support services.
Home Maintenance Workshops:
ROS staff develops workshops on housing maintenance and other topics identified as a need by residents to support households and housing stability. Examples include: home organizing, cleaning routines, budget home maintenance, etc.
Mission-Driven Resident Engagement
Leadership Development: The Tenant Leadership meets to discuss resident needs, plan events, and develop a resident outreach strategies. Subcommittees may be created for specific programs or initiatives. ROS staff facilitates these meetings and provides leadership development opportunities and trainings to support resident leaders.
Community Engagement: ROS staff convenes quarterly building, or building-cluster, meetings to share information regarding Voice, community resources, and events. Additionally, residents are given the opportunity to share feedback with ROS staff regarding property management and resident services.
Policy and Advocacy Work: Voice’s mission-driven organizing focuses on strategies for preserving and promoting affordable housing opportunities with new and existing owners. ROS staff will work with organizations that share this mission to engage residents in advocacy opportunities within the community. With Voice’s attention not only on sustaining well the affordable housing we have, but supporting others to continue providing affordable housing — which is critical to racial and economic diversity in our communities — we expect increasing involvement of resident leadership in the organization’s new program and project: the Voice Owner’s Network and the Dovie Thurman Affordable Housing Trust.