Enriching & Empowering Lives: The Long-Lasting Impact of Resident Services
A healthy community is defined by the continual improvement of the financial, social and environmental conditions that foster quality of life, promote empowerment and establish stability. At IBA, we oversee the wellbeing of nearly 1,500 residents and seek to optimize opportunity through robust residential services that advance academic and career development, improve health, encourage artistic expression and enhance knowledge at every stage of life.
As rising living costs continue to burden low-income households, it’s crucial that community developers utilize residential programming to provide tenants with the resources they need to thrive. Here are just a few ways in which residential services uphold quality of life, support mobility and encourage academic exploration:
- Resident Services and Property Management: Resident services enable low-income and elderly residents to live healthy, active lives. IBA’s Resident Services provide tenants with case management, translation assistance and health screening services with a bilingual staff, as well as fitness, nutrition and recreational programs. Day-to-day advocacy – paired with property management services that remove trash, maintain the grounds, respond to repair requests in a timely manner and identify social, financial or health-related issues residents may be facing early on – establishes trust between tenants and affordable housing providers; prevents tenant turnover; promotes community engagement, preventative medical practices and family welfare; and reduces stress.
- Academic and Economic Empowerment Services: It has been shown that programs assisting with academic advancement, workplace-readiness and financial literacy increase earning potential and help residents manage debt, bolster savings and improve credit (Urban Institute). For instance, individuals who earn their General Education Development (GED) certification make between 10 to 20 percent more than those who have not obtained a high-school diploma. In partnership with Bunker Hill Community College, IBA’s College and Financial Empowerment Program provides case management and coaching to help students attain a High School Equivalency degree, participate in financial coaching and credit-building classes, and enroll in adult education and college courses. Helping residents pursue their professional and financial goals promotes career and economic stability.
- After-school and Youth Development Programs: After-school and youth development programs have proven vital in low-income communities, “improving a young person’s performance in school as well as behavior out of school” (Brookings Institute via Enterprise Partners). For example, students enrolled in after-school and youth development programs are less likely to participate in criminal activity or engage in drug use. Under IBA’s nationally-renowned Youth Development Program, we foster critical thinking, arts education, resilience and academic excellence. Young residents are given a safe space within which to grow socially, creatively and academically, as well as excel within their current educational program and prepare for post-secondary opportunities.
IBA’s resident programs continue to receive praise for their benefits and educate other community developers around the world as a replicable model. We look forward to continuing to enhance all of our residents’ wellbeing through personalized, comprehensive resources.
We are proud to be working to develop housing opportunities for low-income households and minority residents in Boston. For more information on how you can support IBA, please visit our page: http://www.ibaboston.org/donate/...