Blog March 25, 2021

Simplify rent payments for affordable and public housing

By Jeff Jaussi

Affordable and public housing organizations are beginning to see the benefits of flexible electronic rent payments. Multifamily operators have been providing digital payment options to residents for many years, and while the affordable and public housing sector has a higher rate of cash payments, they can still benefit from implementing a flexible technology solution that simplifies the rent payment process for residents and housing staff.

Benefits of flexible, digital payments for affordable and public housing

Whether your organization is looking to replace your current payments solution or make the switch to electronic payments for the first time, there are many benefits for your staff and your residents.

1. Credit building for residents

According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a low credit score or credit invisibility can limit housing choice and employment opportunity for low-income families. In his blog, “How affordable and public housing are plowing ahead with technology during 2021”, Allen Feliz, VP of Affordable and Public Housing at MRI Software, discusses how RentPayment can play a part to remove barriers for low-income residents to obtain quality housing.

With RentPayment, the credit reporting service is provided to the resident free of charge as an incentive for paying their rent online and on time. We will see what the future holds, but a new law in California is requiring all landlords who own certain government-subsidized properties to give their residents the option of having their rental payments reported to a major credit bureau. This new bill, SB 1157, will take effect July 1, 2021, and it will apply to rental housing developments with five or more units that receive certain types of government assistance. As with all legislation, the assumption is that this will spread to other states.

2. More options, more on-time rent payments

By providing more flexible payment options, you can remove the barriers that prevent residents from paying on time. Giving your residents the ability to pay fixed or variable recurring rent payments makes it easier for them to budget effectively and pay their rent on time, without having to pay in person on the first of the month.

As mentioned earlier, affordable and public housing residents have a higher rate of cash rent payments. By adopting a flexible, digital payments solution like RentPayment, you can provide your residents with the ability to pay at one of the 40K MoneyGram locations across the country. With the RentPayment and MoneyGram partnership, your residents can benefit from electronic payments and have their payment post to their ledger automatically! Whether residents are underbanked, non-banked or simply have a desire to pay in cash, the MoneyGram integration makes it even easier for them to pay their rent.

3. Save time for housing staff

We often hear, “Don’t call us the first week of the month, we are busy processing rent payments.” With a flexible, digital payments solution, your housing staff can take back their rent week and gain a significant amount of time! They will waste less time processing payments and have fewer processing errors with automation. Plus, your organization can spend more time focusing on the needs of the community.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us one thing, it’s that the ability to pay rent online is a necessity that will make the lives of your residents and housing staff easier. Collecting rent online can better position your organization for success, and your housing staff can take back their current rent week. Learn more about MRI Payments.

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