Housing Support

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Hi y'all!

Does anyone have experience with your site offering housing support to members? We have two rural sites and want to help with this barrier to joining VISTA. 

My questions:

1) How did your site come by this arrangement? Did you partner with a university, housing authority,  co-op system, etc?

2) Do all of your sites offer housing support or only a few? How does this drive recruitment?

3) How did your site find funding for the housing support?

 

Thanks!

These are great questions and I would be interested in finding out how these housing support options are created as well! 

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Housing is a huge barrier with us as well. We've had two people from out of state not accept offers and I believe that was the main reason. It's hard. I would be interested to see what feedback you receive. 

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I was an AmerIcorps VISTA member in rural Wiscosnin. I had USDA rural housing and zero rent because AmerICorps stipends don't count as income.

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That's incredibly helpful. Do you have any more information about that? How hard is it to apply for that housing and how competitive is it usually?

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Right now, the best I've come up with is sending a blurb to the rural sites asking what kind of cheap housing they know of (this could include someone's neighbor renting a room in their house). I’ve compiled lists for incoming VISTAs based on this info. I'm hoping first to use the site supervisors’ networks, since they are well connected in the area, and I'm in Austin, in a different office as the VISTA members. Another idea is trying to get connected to someone at some East Texas colleges and see if they would be willing to offer a dorm or apartment space to our project. 

It's a slow process, unfortunately, because many of the site supervisors want me to remotely work some magic, when in reality, I can make all the spreadsheets I want, but what I really need is for one of the supervisors to push my ideas out to their networks. 

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AmerICorps VISTA stipends don't are "disregarded" as income for USDA rural housing. I had USDA rural housing in Wisconsin and my rent was zero.

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This is becoming a difficult matter in Reno too (Dwelling prices going up in all areas of the city and its surroundings). Did you have any luck with the college idea? I also am hoping people that have had success arranging housing plans might have reccomendations, because this definitely drives away good applicants when they see different VISTA positions that offer housing.

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