We experienced a good amount of success early on in adding lower-income homeowners to our neighborhoods. In 2008, the housing crisis made it at first harder to add homeowners to our neighborhood, then effectively impossible. In response, Metanoia’s board- a majority of whom are neighborhood residents- elected to consider quality affordable rental as a way to invest in community-stabilizing families and individuals. In 2014, Metanoia will begin its work in quality affordable rentals by opening six units in the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood in North Charleston.
Even though working with rental housing is a departure from our original housing mission, we see several opportunities to build our community:
- 100% of the income generated by our rentals will be reinvested back into our neighborhoods through a variety of community-based initiatives. The majority of income generated from renters in our community is leaving the community and benefitting rental owners that do not live in the community.
- Metanoia renters will have the option to participate in our Homeowner Incubation Program. This program offers incentives for well-qualified families and individuals to (over the course of five years) eventually buy the home they are renting. The program works hand in hand with our Financial Literacy and Homebuyers’ Education program. Renters work to increase their financial power as homebuyers. In turn, we will provide rent discounts for improved credit scores, the opportunity to open an Individual Development Account and we will place a portion of their monthly rent into an equity account for an eventual down-payment.