Tarzana, Calif.–based property owner Gelt has announced a name change for the firm's 501(c)(3) public nonprofit formerly known as The Gelt Foundation. The organization will now be called the Resident Relief Foundation (RRF). The Foundation’s mission is to prevent homelessness and evictions by providing rental-assistance grants to qualified tenants in financial emergencies.
“We found that our original name for the Foundation was communicating the message that our family of Gelt companies was the main funding source for the organization,” said co-founder Keith Wasserman in a statement. “Although we're active donors and fund its operations, the long-term growth and success of Resident Relief Foundation is built on the support of like-minded companies and professionals throughout the greater real estate community.”
In this, its first year, the Foundation has raised more than $90,000 and provided 41 grants to responsible renters in danger of being evicted due to emergency circumstances. The Foundation aims to raise an additional $200,000 from sources across the real estate community; to provide at least 100 more grants by the end of the year; and to continue growing its board of directors.
According to current studies, 78% of full-time working Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and 60% have less than $1,000 in savings. A sudden change in their financial circumstances, such as a work interruption, car accident, natural disaster, or medical or family emergency, could mean eviction and homelessness.
RRF’s assistance is presented as a prevention model, ideally providing grants before eviction proceeds. Depending on the renter’s need, the grant can range from a portion of the rent to two months worth of rent and is paid directly to the property. Once the assistance is provided, RRF offers the grant recipient financial education opportunities, such as a budgeting class or credit counseling, to help them prepare for future emergencies.