Study: Research Shows the Cost Benefits of Resident Services on the Performance of Property Operations

In 2008, Community Housing Partners (CHP), with funding and research support from NeighborWorks® America, engaged in a study to better understand the financial impact of Resident Services (RS) on property performance in service-enriched affordable family rental housing.

In the past, anecdotal evidence has suggested that resident services in affordable family housing help reduce operational costs by helping families improve their incomes and financial management, get help when they face crises, comply with rental lease requirements and build communities beyond housing.

This is the third study to support and validate that anecdotal evidence with concrete data showing that resident services reduce operational costs at properties in the areas of vacancy loss, bad debt and legal fees.

This study finds that operational costs in FY 2006 and 2007 relating to vacancy loss, bad debt and legal expenses were significantly lower at properties with resident services than at those without resident services. Savings in these three areas totaled $236/unit per year.

An additional fiscal benefit of $38/unit per year was gained at properties that included Eviction Prevention Counseling. 2 These combined savings of $274/unit/year almost entirely offset the full cost of resident services (direct costs + indirect costs) of $279/unit/year.