Eli Pershing

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Housing Connector Dallas

As Director of Investments and Partnerships, I am passionate about growing our impact! Join us!

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Housing Connector is a tech-for-good nonprofit that increases access and equity in housing by reducing screening criteria for housing unstable individuals, providing financial support like rent guarantees, and by streamlining the housing search with technology.

Housing Connector opens doors to long-term housing for individuals who are housing unstable or experiencing homelessness in Dallas area of Texas. Shared barriers that prevent these folks from housing often include poor or no credit history, legal system impact, poor rental history (prior evictions), and/or income restrictions. Since May of 2023, 42 people have been housed in Dallas. 83% of those we house identify as BIPOC, 91% are female, and 58% are households with children under 18 years old. 49% have an Area Median Income level of less than 30%, and 77% utilize a housing subsidy/voucher. 37 properties are offering almost 2,300 available homes today through our Dallas program. We partner with 23 non-profits in Dallas. 

Over 582,000 people live homeless in the US. The 2022 Point-in-Time Homeless (PIT) Count found that on any given night there are 4,410 individuals experiencing homelessness in Dallas and Collin counties in Texas alone. Housing Connector believes this is unacceptable and that it can be solved. Our founder was born in Kosovo where his childhood was marred by turmoil and conflict. He immigrated to the US as a refugee and experienced the challenges of accessing housing while experiencing poverty. His journey drives his commitment to find solutions that lift others out of poverty. Dallas Housing Connector staff are 67% BIPOC, and 100% female. 55% of all staff have cultural roots that influence their identities and 65% possess lived experiences that are shared by those who are served by our programs. Housing Connector uses business solutions and technology to eliminate barriers that prevent housing unstable families from accessing and creating healthy, stable, and financially secure homes. This is accomplished by offering financial solutions and assurances to lessen risk so property owners will lower their screening criteria for applying tenants. This means that Housing Connector offers to pay rent should a family not be able to pay, pay if any damages occur, mediate communication, and provide long-term housing stability support. By agreeing to lower screening criteria, housing previously out of reach for families with low-incomes, low or no credit scores, legal history and impact, or eviction history become accessible. This accessibility increases affordable housing, creates more housing equity, and allows more individuals to transition out of housing instability long-term.

We provide a unique online platform to make the housing search and application process easier and quicker. This platform reduces the number of empty homes held by properties by increasing applicants and empowers a housing insecure person's housing search to be easier, enabling them to achieve housing faster. Service providers often have waitlists, too many cases, and insufficient capacity to meet demand quickly while working in systems that lack automation for efficiency. Housing insecurity systems often have narrow requirements that are not conducive to promoting economic mobility which can be restrictive to families in achieving their goals. Referrals to housing supports also require strict screening and long hold times, which sometimes means that applicants can become disqualified as they wait. We partner with 23 non-profits in Dallas. Partnering with non-profits means that we amplify their good work and capacity by offering more streamlined tech-based methods. Available reduced screening housing is visible real-time to case managers and those searching for housing with clear detail on acceptance criteria. The application process is automated, as easy as clicking a button, which generates quicker response times and faster move-ins. We have an in-house stability team to amplify case management and communication efforts after housing attainment, and aid agencies in measuring their impact by automating data collection on housing and household outcomes over time. Less than 11% of those who have been housed have exhausted use of available rent payment funds to be paid on their behalf in an instance of nonpayment or as eviction prevention to their landlords across our markets. This low percentage supports our theory of change. We need to effectively scale in Dallas to meet demand by increasing our property partners and available homes and imbedding our work in the community to create awareness with key stakeholders - to increase funding and advocacy. We plan to house 936 people in Dallas by 2024's end.

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