5 Great Organizations Helping People Find Housing

With the rise of gentrification in nearly every major US city, many lower-income families are being pushed out of their homes as the cost of living in their communities skyrockets. Many organizations have stepped up to bridge the gap between residents and governmental assistance. In no particular order, this list highlights some organizations striving to ensure every person has a place to call home.

Kicking off our list at #1 is New Destiny, a New York City nonprofit founded in 1994 to provide shelter and services to a particularly vulnerable homeless population: victims of domestic violence and their children. The organization is committed to increasing permanent, affordable housing options for survivors and improving access to existing resources.

New Destiny offers trauma-informed services on-site to tenants in its permanent housing through its Family Support Program. The staff collaborates with survivors to help them overcome obstacles on their path to independence and self-sufficiency. Some of the services include individual counseling for adults and children, employment coaching, and public benefits management.

Coming in at #2, we have Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. With the support of community members, donors, and volunteers, this organization constructs new or renovates existing homes alongside partner homebuyers. Participants make a small down payment and invest 200-500 "sweat equity hours" building their future residence as well as those of others. These homes are then sold to partner homebuyers at no profit.

Habitat LA believes in developing affordable housing that is also sustainable and incorporates construction practices that meet the LEED and CALGreen standards. In 2008, it built 30 homes as a part of the Jimmy Carter Work Project employing green building practices; these homes were awarded Silver LEED Certification by the US Green Building Council.

Next up, at #3, we have the Low Income Investment Fund, an organization that works to mobilize capital and partners to achieve opportunity, equity, and well-being for people and communities. Based in San Francisco, investing in building and improving affordable homes for low-income people remains a cornerstone of its poverty alleviation strategy.

LIIF’s investments have ranged from high-design supportive developments in Southern California to affordable homeownership opportunities on the east coast to equitable co-ops in the Bay Area. LIIF also invests in housing constructed alongside other community facilities, such as transit-oriented developments and housing co-located with child care centers.

The #4 entry is the Chicago Housing Authority, an organization that provides homes to thousands of households throughout the city. Designated a Moving to Work agency by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, CHA aims to use that designation to create unique partnerships that expand choices and opportunities for low-income families.

The Chicago Housing Authority seeks to increase the academic achievement of its younger residents through local programs and scholarships. Through its SOAR initiative, individuals can receive one-on-one coaching from an Education Program Specialist to support post-high school plans or assist in continued post-secondary enrollment.

To close our list at #5, we have Mission Economic Development Agency, an organization based in San Francisco. This nonprofit's mission is to help Latino families choose where to call home, thrive economically, succeed in learning opportunities, and lead policy and social change toward a more equitable society.

MEDA's Housing Opportunities program provides one-on-one coaching sessions and group workshop curriculum in English and Spanish, helping local residents receive guidance on topics such as down payment and closing costs assistance programs, affordable housing options, and more.