Niles Housing Commission Makes Homelessness A Preference For Waiting List
FOURMIDABLE, which manages properties, sees move as being a positive one
The recent approval of a “homelessness preference” for the waiting list on properties owned by the Niles Housing Commission is a step in the right direction, says NHC Commissioner Sanya Vitale.
“By authorizing an allowable preference on homeless individuals and families, the Niles Housing Commission has developed a process that would make available a home for those living on the streets or precariously housed,” said Vitale. “The Board of Commissioners wants to ensure that last chance housing is available to most constituents living on the margins.”
FOURMIDABLE, a national real estate management and brokerage company, manages NHC properties on behalf of the City.
“We see the move by the Niles Housing Commission as both strategic and aspirational,” said FOURMIDABLE CEO Jeri Hayes. “Our role in managing NHC properties is not simply a transactional one. We also invest from a standpoint of wanting to do what's right for the communities in which we do business, and steps like we see in Niles are consistent with a quality of life mission that we endorse.”
Pamela Hunziker, President of NHC, joined Commissioner Vitale in expressing pride in the move to approve the homelessness preference after residents were given a 30-day comment period ahead of the vote approving the new policy.
“We know that homelessness in America remains a concern,” said Hunziker. “Our goal is to take steps to lessen the impact here in Niles.”
Megan Hustings, Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, estimates the number of homeless in the United States as about 3.5 million, with lack of affordable housing, poverty, lack of affordable health care, domestic violence, mental illness, and addiction to be among the reasons for homelessness.
In Niles, NHC is doing its part by working with Lakeland Home Care to provide services at Gateway Plaza, one of its properties. Services offered will assist with social needs after a resident moves in, the type of initiative that LuAnn Collins, President of the Resident Council, says makes Gateway Plaza “a great place to call home.”
With the waiting list for NHC now open, Residential Manager Shannon Weinberg, is eager to help applicants find their new home.
The contact number for starting that process is (269) 683-2783.