Lancaster County has a shortage of rental housing. This market pressure has resulted in an increase in the market rate for rental housing. These increased prices rest on people without the resources to afford market-rate rental units, and who have high barriers to accessing rental housing. These barriers can include poor credit, criminal records, eviction histories, as well as the need for a security deposit. To compound the issue, many individuals do not know how to address their barriers, navigate the application process, and successfully address issues that may arise during their tenancy. Because everyone deserves a place called home, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership will be launching the Rental Advantage Course in June 2019.
The Rental Advantage Course is a comprehensive renter education certificate class. The class addresses all aspects of the renter experience, providing information and resources to assist renters in accessing affordable and market-rate rental housing. The core curriculum has been developed using the Prepared Renter Education Program (PREP), a renter education program created by the Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania (SDHP). PREP is a complete curriculum that provides all the tools a person needs to obtain rental housing; in addition, it offers further instruction on how to avoid pitfalls that could cause someone to be evicted.
LHOP has 25 years of providing classes for first-time home buyers and has nearly 10 years working with renters and landlords in the areas of Fair Housing, Landlord-Tenant education, and specialized programs like the Community Rental Equity Fund, a referral-based security deposit waiver program. The addition of a renter’s advantage course is a natural fit. LHOP’s experience in curriculum development and work with tenants and landlords have resulted in a course that will provide helpful information that will empower renters to understand and address roadblocks to gaining rental housing and improve landlord-tenant relationships.
The curriculum includes topics such as:
• Renting Fundamentals
• Preparing to Rent
• Understanding your Personal History
• Locating Housing
• Fair Housing Basics
• Understanding a Lease
• Living with Neighbors
• Working with the Landlord
• Household Budgeting
• Dealing with Eviction
The development of the course has been a collaborative effort among several providers in our community. LHOP (Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership) is the lead agency. Partners include Tabor Community Services, CAP (Community Action Partnership), Good Samaritan Services, Community Basics Inc., Lancaster County Behavioral Health/Developmental Services (BH/DS), the Lancaster County Credit Bureau, and local landlords.
LHOP will be offering (4) eight-hour classes throughout the year beginning in June 2019. For additional information on the course or to register, visit us online at www.lhop.org.
The first class is on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 9:00 AM at Tabor Community Services in the training room. The cost for this course will be $25 per person and includes continental breakfast, lunch and course materials. Scholarships are available.
Director Housing Equality & Equity Institute at LHOP
717-291-9945 ext. 110