Helping our clients find safe and stable housing is an important part of our work at Catholic Charities West Virginia. This includes assisting our neighbors in understanding their rights as tenants and advocating for themselves.
The Eastern Panhandle Successful Renters Program was created to educate and equip tenants with the information and tools they need to rent successfully and achieve living experiences that are stable and satisfying for themselves and their families.
“There is no standard lease in West Virginia,” said Kat Hagedorn, CCWVa Case Manager. “But there are rights and responsibilities that renters have by law, and it’s important for people to understand this.”
The Successful Renters Program was created by representatives from a collaboration of private businesses and community organizations, including Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa), and is provided by the Eastern Panhandle Health and Human Services Housing Work Group. Catholic Charities staff helps deliver the program.
In the Successful Renters Program, participants learn the basics of landlord/tenant right and responsibilities. They review a sample lease, learn how to lodge a complaint, and discuss the importance of record keeping.
“It’s so important for people to read the entire lease before signing,” said Hagedorn. “That’s one of the biggest takeaways from this course.”
One section of the program is devoted entirely to budgeting, reaching financial goals and understanding credit.
“The exercise of creating a monthly budget has been especially beneficial for our families who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Hagedorn.
Other issues such as renter’s insurance, fair housing and security deposits are also discussed.
“The Successful Renters Program empowers tenants with the knowledge and skills they need to secure and maintain safe housing for their families,” said Hagedorn.
By Katie Hinerman Klug, CCWVa Marketing Communications Specialist