Filling in the Blanks on Your Housing Application

“You plant the seed, you may not see the bloom, but you helped plant that seed for their future.” – Laverne

Laverne has been an essential part of Quint since it was created. She is a founding board member of Quint, and one of the reasons the organization has the pulse and impact it does today.

As a lifelong resident of Pleasant Hill and many years of community organizing in the core neighbourhoods,  Laverne’s leadership was an instrumental part of the vision that led to the formation of Quint. As a member of the founding Board, Laverne helped ensure that the foundation of Quint was solid with a clear strategic plan and policies that have shaped the organization as it developed in the early years.

Finding a place to live can be hard. Hopefully these tips from Quint’s Affordable Housing team will take out the stress and struggle in your housing search.

RELIABILITY

First of all, good communication is key to finding housing.

Landlords will not spend their time trying to track down potential tenants. The single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of finding a new home, is to make sure your contact information is up to date. Landlords want to rent to tenants that make housing a priority by showing up for appointments, following up, and asking questions. These little things go a long way to convince the landlord that you are serious about finding housing and therefore you are serious about keeping housing. Landlords like when tenants stay for a long time.

TIMELINES

Consider how quickly you are in need of housing.

Is it an emergency or can you wait 1 month or longer? Most affordable housing agencies (including Quint) have a process that can take over 1 month to get approved for housing. If you are in need of immediate housing, it is in your best interest to prioritize market rentals or emergency temporary housing (staying with family/friends, shelters etc).

PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS!

Every landlord has a different rental process.

Some require large and detailed applications, some require credit checks, and some do not require anything more than a meeting. While you are looking for a new home, be prepared to fill out applications. These processes always take time, so plan for your housing search to take time.

 Things to consider while looking for housing are:

  • Where are you living during your housing search?
  • If you struggle with applications, who can support you with them?
  • How do you plan to get to and from your appointments?

UNDERSTANDING LANDLORDS

Landlords are not complicated.

They are looking for specific things in tenants. When you are filling out applications or meeting with potential landlords
make sure your landlord knows these things:

  • Will rent be paid?
  • Will the rental unit be well kept?
  • Will this tenant cause problems for other tenants (parties, many loud guests all night, etc)?

Answering these questions confidently will give you a favorable chance to find a new home.

WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE TABLE?

Be confident in why you would be a good tenant. What skills do you have that would make a landlord want to rent to you?

For example: 

  • You keep your place clean and tidy;
  • You are good at budgeting and never late on rent;
  • You have excellent communication with landlords and neighbors.

If you have a bad rental history do not try to hide it. It is best to own up to it and use it as a learning experience. If you have had trouble paying rent in the past, ask yourself why and what is different now. Any potential landlord will want to know that you have learned from your previous rental experiences. 

To sum up, finding a new home can be a stressful and chaotic experience. However, by allowing yourself a lot of time to find the right place helps to eliminate stress right from the start. Knowing what information the landlord wants ahead of time is a good way to prepare yourself for the types of questions they might ask. Start the process as early as possible and continually follow up with the landlord.

As the organization continued to grow, Laverne’s position evolved into the  Director of Operations but she continued to oversee and guide the affordable housing program. She is also one of our main social function organizers ensuring that we maintain a strong and cohesive staff team/family, something that she prides herself on. She has worked hard to make sure staff feel included, heard and part of the decision making process within the organization.

Laverne also played a large role in organizing Quint’s community events, what she calls “the fun work”. This included launching and planning the annual Our Core Communities Shine events, numerous community BBQ’s, and anniversary celebrations.

Laverne’s impact is throughout all aspects of Quint’s programming and practices. Her legacy will be that of dedication, compassion, and perseverance, always fighting for the good of her community and the people in it. On behalf of the Quint staff, board of directors and the community at large, Laverne we are so thankful for your leadership and vision to bring Quint to reality. Your contributions will continue to transcend the 26 years you have committed to our west side core communities and beyond.

Happy Retirement!