Rebuilding Together Affiliates Work to Increase Financial Independence and Community Connection

December 23, 2020
by Adriana Uy, National Programs and Partnerships Associate at Rebuilding Together National

“It would have taken me years to get some of the repairs they did in my home, and they are truly a blessing to me.” –Survey Respondent

“The impact has been tremendous. Leaving the home for [people in wheelchairs] is critical for connecting with neighbors, church, and community.” —Survey Respondent

“I am so thankful to know new friends, and my beautiful garden now is so enjoyable to sit in the sun.” —Survey Respondent

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a surge of unemployment and many finding themselves in difficult financial circumstances. In trying times, these individuals will turn to their neighbors in the communities which they call home. Previously low-income homeowners will fight harder to make ends meet, with little economic security to keep them afloat.

Rebuilding Together addresses critical home repairs that otherwise leave homeowners cost burdened and struggling to pay for daily necessities. Through home modifications and repairs made possible by Rebuilding Together affiliates, homeowners have less financial strain. A recent homeowner impact survey conducted the external evaluator Actionable Insights found that six months after receiving services, 68% of homeowners felt they would be better able to pay for daily necessities, and 63% of homeowners say their homes are now more valuable as an asset. Given that their once cost-burdened home is now considered an asset, more than three quarters of neighbors who received repairs plan to pass their properties to family or friends. Our work to preserve home ownership is essential for intergenerational wealth transfer and the ability for the next generation to remain in the neighborhood.

Home repairs positively influence the overall condition of neighborhoods and can have a positive spillover effect. Rebuilding Together believes that home repairs also boost social inclusion for the recipients of the repairs. More than a quarter of homeowners said they felt an increased connection with neighbors six months after the repairs, and 73% felt more pride in their properties after the repairs had been completed.

Considering the long history of systemic racism in housing in this country, Rebuilding Together is working on becoming more active listeners and better partners to the communities in which we serve. Community revitalization requires full participation of neighbors, partners, and community leaders. By working closely with neighbors, partner organizations, and community leaders, Rebuilding Together affiliates across the country are developing, implementing, and participating in local strategies for collective impact. Whether it is organizing community cleanups and green space enhancements, addressing safety concerns through the installation of better community lighting, enhancing accessibility at community and senior centers promoting economic stability through workforce development and small business renovations or working directly with the healthcare community to reduce hospital readmissions – we are making the connection between our safe and healthy housing core competency while contributing to the well-being of entire communities.

To read more about how Rebuilding Together affiliates improve financial independence and community connection for our neighbors in need, read the full Impact Measurement Pilot Report.

See how Rebuilding Together is making a difference in Shaun and Leanne's lives.