2022 Grants Challenge

Ready, Steady: Housing Readiness Training for Families and Individuals Facing Housing Instability

This project aims to create an online training program and resource guide on housing readiness for low-income households who are facing housing instability in Los Angeles County, in an effort to enhance housing security and prevent homelessness. Topics to be covered include rental application readiness, tenant/landlord rights and responsibilities, and housing search and homelessness prevention resources.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Housing and Homelessness

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Each year, thousands of severely rent-burdened, low-income households are living one disaster away from homelessness in Los Angeles County. Often, they do not qualify for housing vouchers or intensive support services, including housing navigation or case management, because they are not yet homeless. But their struggle in the LA housing market is real and desperate. Disproportionately affecting the Black and Latinx communities, many face structural barriers such as low credit score or discriminatory policies as well as landlord misconduct. If they are housed, they are more likely to be living in substandard, overcrowded conditions, and they sometimes lack a support system to help them navigate housing-related crises. Housing instability has long-term negative impact, including on educational achievement, job prospects, as well as physical and mental health. Without access to information and resources, an untold number of families are at risk of repeated or long-term homelessness.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

With this grant, we would produce an interactive online training program on housing readiness and a resource guide, which would allow practical information for the acquisition and sustainment of permanent housing to be readily accessible, reusable, locally-specific, and free for all. Our hope is that it would also provide landlords with some assurance about their applicants’ housing readiness. If awarded, the grant would specifically support: 1) The planning, writing, and creation of a minimum of three interactive online training module on housing readiness, to be developed in consultation with housing and community advocates, landlords, property managers, and leasing agents, as well as leveraging Beacon Housing’s own experience and institutional knowledge. This training module would be produced first in English and then in Spanish. We expect at least three modules: (a) Application; (b) Moving In; (c) Being a Good Tenant 2) The writing and production of a resource guide, specific to San Gabriel Valley and East LA, for renters on where folks can find resources to assist in their housing readiness, eviction prevention, and emergency assistance, in both English and Spanish. 3) Outreach activities to organizations serving the targeted populations to spread awareness of these new resources

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Through our work, when we share resources or information with applicants and tenants, we are often told, “I wish I had known this information before I started my housing search.” We believe by making such information readily available and digestible for free, our project would help to empower a wide range of households who are currently experiencing housing insecurity to better prepare themselves for and access rental housing in the open market and improve their chances of sustaining their housing, while also assisting service providers to help their clients on a topic they may not have particular expertise (property leasing). Over the long term, we believe the process of creating this module, in consultation with landlords, tenants, and community advocates, would create a platform for collaboration and communication between these diverse groups to identify more affordable housing opportunities and creating real-life and applicable solutions at the micro-level.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This online training module and resource guide would be a pilot project that builds on our knowledge and experience in providing housing to the targeted population of low-income and housing-insecure clients. We are already planning to offer a version of this housing readiness training in-person for parents who are transitioning into permanent housing from homelessness, with the first workshop to be held in September 2022. The lessons learned from these trainings can inform the development of this online training module. To measure success, we plan to do the following: - Track visitor and user data of the online module, with monthly reviews and adjustments to the promotional strategies based on the data - Track download data of the resource guide - Build in a short survey at the end of the online training module to gain feedback from users - Consult with our community partner organizations to gain qualitative feedback on the module’s usefulness and impact

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 160

Indirect Impact: 1,800