Vancouver Rent Bank – Helping Tenants

Posted in  Community, Industry, Sustainability,  on June 29, 2017

Guest post by Vancouver Rent Bank. Originally posted on their blog here.

“I did not see myself in this situation at all. It was not planned.” Said Natalia S.

In 2016, Natalia, a single mom, was transitioning out of being self-employed. After a successful first year starting her own digital marketing business, the entrepreneur found it difficult to keep up with the costs and responsibilities as business began to slow down. “I was just struggling with being all the things that an entrepreneur has to be,” said Natalia.

At the same time, the mother of one was also trying to keep up with expensive legal fees, having gone to court against her daughter’s father the previous year. “It was very expensive,” said Natalia. “So, a lot of my money had gone to lawyer fees, which left me in a rut financially.”

“I was applying for jobs and it wasn’t that easy,” said the single mom. “But I ended up getting one, finally.”

Natalia received an offer for a digital marketing position with an agency in July 2016. But she would still be behind another month in rent.

She thought about moving in with her parents, who already lived in a cramped one-bedroom apartment where Natalia’s grandma was also staying while her parents looked after her. This would mean giving up her current place until she would be able to make enough money for rent, as well as having to find a new home afterward.

After searching through online resources, Natalia found out about the Vancouver Rent Bank. Physically applying to the Rent Bank however, was a different story. “That was probably the hardest part,” she said. “It definitely feels taboo to even walk through the office.”

Natalia credits staff at the Rent Bank for making the experience at ease and accepting. “Caitlin was so nice; she made me so comfortable during the in-person interview,” said Natalia.

“I think a lot of people in Vancouver are struggling to pay rent right now,” said the mother, who has noticed other parents at her daughter’s school who also seem to be struggling financially. “Just go for it,” tells Natalia to other parents about applying to the Rent Bank. “It could help them temporarily, which could help them over a long period of time so they can stabilize their finances.”

Being accepted for a Rent Bank loan allowed Natalia and her daughter to stay in their home, a home in which she also feels grateful to Hollyburn Properties for. “They were really nice in 2012, when I had nothing and it was really hard to find a place as a single mom without a job,” admits Natalia. “It was a bit of a messy situation and they gave me a chance and allowed me to stay there.”

“I paid rent, but it was still a big deal to even have a company like that trust that I would pay rent. — Natalia S.

Things are going much better for Natalia these days, who says that she is no longer in a financial rut.

“I’m really grateful for having that support during that time period because I don’t know where I would be right now,” said Natalia. “It just would have been a different story.”

Visit Vancouver Rent Bank for more information.

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