Rainy Day funds

Saving for emergencies can prevent eviction, improve credit and create opportunites

Rainy Day Funds can help protect rental household stability

     A new survey from National Housing Trust Foundation tells the world what most tenants know: 75% of those surveyed are worried about losing their homes. Affordability is cited as the cause of the worry, but for many the fact of high rent means no “rainy day” fund to address unexpected expenses.
     Here’s the thing about unexpected expenses...tenants need to expect them! An article from earlier this year on the website Bankrate shows two stories of how having emergency funds saved a household. 
      What can tenants do? Start saving a small portion from every check in an interest bearing account. If banks won’t open a small account without high fees, check out a savings and loan. If you are impulsive, an automatic deduction into a “rainy day account” through your employer or banker could make it easier to save.
     What can social agencies do? Social agencies could establish “rainy day” accounts for their program participants...maybe even use grant funds to match client contributions. This summer Enterprise Community Partners proposed a way for mission driven non-profits to create lower rents in unsubsidized buildings using a master lease program. Their plan includes a “rainy day” savings feature (which could be matched) as a way to help the tenant/clients be able to pay rent over a rough patch. The built in fund protects tenants from eviction and protects the housing provider from the cost of bringing an eviction. 
      For too long, Americans have been trained to live on credit. High personal debt made the Great Recession worse when bills came due with no means to pay and families lost their homes. Savings is kind of old fashioned, but just as our parents and grandparents learned in the years following the Great Depression, a rainy day fund can keep a roof over your head. And, if it doesn’t rain, that fund can become a nest egg.    
posted September 11, 2016

 What's News?

January 18, 2018, Bankrate.com Most Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $1K emergency

November 25, 2016, This is New York Most New Yorkers Are Roughly 1 Paycheck Away From Homelessness: Study
More than half of all New Yorkers are teetering on the brink of homelessness — without enough cash in the bank to cover them in the event of a disaster or lost job, a troubling new study has found. Nearly 60 percent of all New Yorkers don’t have enough emergency savings to cover at least three months' worth of household expenses like food, housing and rent, according to a recent report from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development.

August 19, 2016 CoExist Money when you need it
That's the theme of a new study of homelessness prevention in Chicago. "When calling on a day where funds are available, callers are 76% less likely to enter a shelter within six months than those who call in on a 'no-money' day.... "

Aug. 11, 2016 Science Magazine A bit of cash can keep someone off the streets for 2 years or more
"If someone is about to become homeless, giving them a single cash infusion, averaging about $1000, may be enough to keep them off the streets for at least 2 years. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that programs that proactively assist those in need don’t just help the victims—they may benefit society as a whole."