Keeping People in their Homes
Mercy Housing provides low-income families, seniors, veterans, and people with special needs with affordable housing. Today, Mercy Housing provides quality affordable rental housing to more than 24,000 households nationwide. Mercy Housing is a developer, owner, and manager of affordable multi-family housing communities and strives to ensure the availability of quality, affordable housing options.
Since our founding in 1981, we have been focused on providing more than just a home to residents. We recognize that people often need more than a home to build a stable life which is why our model of program-enriched housing offers services and access to opportunities for residents. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adjusted our services and programming to follow CDC and local health agency guidelines while supporting residents to cope with the dramatic changes to work, school, and home life. Staff are focused on supporting residents through wellness checks, accessing needs such as food, and trying to help people cope with fear and anxiety.
For example, to date in 2021 alone, we have:
- Served over 13,000 residents with 106,000 food services.
- Reached over 1,500 youth through our Out-of-School Time program, delivered activity bags, provided online tutoring, and other creative solutions.
- Made 83,000 wellbeing phone calls to more than 9,000 residents.
- Served 1,548 kids who attended remote learning programs with Mercy Housing.
Like other multi-family housing owners across the country, Mercy Housing has been challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic and the related eviction moratoriums that have been in place. The national eviction moratorium initially expired July 31, 2021, and was then extended to October 3 for those individuals impacted by COVID-19. Mercy Housing has a significant number of residents who have not been paying their rent. Over the past year and a half, Mercy Housing’s site staff have reached out to assist residents and link them to resources that could help them with rent and other needs; however, some residents have been non-responsive. While the organization’s mission is to help families and individuals by providing affordable housing, the financial impact of the eviction moratorium and the associated loss of rent threatens the organization’s financial well-being and its ability to help all those who need affordable housing. As a result, Mercy Housing began sending letters to those who are delinquent with their rent when the moratorium expired on July 31.
Mercy Housing is Providing Help
Even before the CDC eviction moratorium was put in place September 1, 2020, Mercy Housing committed to not evicting residents for non-payment of rent during the pandemic. We introduced policies around rent leniency and created a COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, raising more than $1.4M in donations to assist residents. Both property management and resident services staff continue to work collaboratively to help residents address existing and unexpected needs. Staff have supported residents in accessing over $1M in state and local emergency rental assistance.
Approximately 18% of Mercy Housing’s more than 24,000 families are behind on their rent. As a nonprofit, that lack of funds threatens our ability to provide and maintain our communities to the other 82%. On July 30, 2021, Mercy Housing notified residents who are behind on their rent that they must begin paying their full rent moving forward effective September 1, 2021, in accordance with their lease. Mercy Housing is offering a path to resolution and we are committed to working with residents. Any resident who was harmed financially during the pandemic simply needs to apply for federal rent relief in order to stay in their home. Staff are available to assist with resident applications. Residents who were not financially harmed during the pandemic but are behind in their rent payments have the option to sign up for payment plans if they wish. Anyone who commits to and honors a payment plan will stay in their homes and they will be given the appropriate time needed to pay past-due rent. The payment plan asks residents who have not been impacted by COVID-19 to pay an additional 3% each month (an extra $30 on each $1,000 they pay in rent) until they are current on their past-due balance.
We invite residents to reach out to the property manager or services staff to discuss their needs. Mercy Housing continues to offer support services to help residents resolve issues which may put their housing in jeopardy. We are committed to working with residents.
How you can help
As many residents are experiencing hardships and don’t have safety nets or resources to pull from during these turbulent times, we have set up a relief fund to help support residents with food insecurity and other related issues. Together, we will get through this and can make a difference.
Information for Mercy Housing Residents
If you are a Mercy Housing community resident and think that you or someone you know has the coronavirus, please follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s instructions.Answers to Common Questions
Open for Business
Many Mercy Housing communities also house nonprofit and retail businesses. Many of these essential businesses are still open during stay-at-home orders. Use the map below to find out how you can support these Mercy Housing partners during the pandemic.