TGNCDC Brands Highly Successful Tenant Screening Program As “ScreenDoor”
Times are tough for Community Development Corporations (CDC) in Saint Louis and across the country. Federally funded Community Development Block Grants, traditionally the main source of revenue for these organizations, is limited and decreasing significantly. Our organization, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC (TGNCDC), recognized the upcoming challenges several years ago and our consolidation of three CDC’s have reduced expenses, leveraged a larger service area, increased staffing and expanded our service offerings. As a part of the 5 year strategic plan, download here, TGNCDC committed to growing the Tenant Screening program into the premier service, not only in St. Louis, but regionally and nationally. With the help of a 2015 capacity building grant provided by RISE (www.risestl.org) and professional marketing help provided by Switch (http://www.liberateyourbrand.com/), TGNCDC branded the tenant screening program as ScreenDoor (www.theScreenDoor.org). Proceeds from the tenant screening business will help us become more self sufficient and less dependent on government grants. TGNCDC’s tenant screening service is dedicated, thorough, trustworthy and constructive.
In 2015, our tenant screening application production increased by 62% compared to 2014, TGNCDC staff attended 94 nuisance property meetings and added 649 units to our program, of which, 84 units were from landlords with nuisance properties. Over a two year period- 2012-2014, TGNCDC provided screening services that helped 92% of the properties enrolled in our program to be abated and removed from the nuisance property database.
We believe our screening programs helps stabilize buildings, blocks and neighborhoods and, by giving landlords up to date and valuable information, they are better prepared to successfully manage their properties. Our landlord training program, (http://wp.me/P4d282-1l), also supports these efforts.
Our goal is to help landlords find and keep good tenants so that:
- Landlords have a reliable income source
- Landlords reduce your risk of property destruction and costly evictions
- Other tenants feel confident knowing that the people with whom they may be sharing spaces have been through the same screening process as themselves
- Area residents have considerate neighbors
TGNCDC will work to send landlords as much verified, objective information as possible, so they can make an informed decision before signing a lease. With our program, Landlords will receive:
- a summary of the applicant’s credit report with information from all three major credit bureaus
- national criminal background check including sex offender registry and terrorist watch lists
- national eviction search including Alaska and Hawaii
- employment and income verification
- rental verification for the past five years, including skip tracing undisclosed addresses
Please help us spread the word about our service as we pursue our 2016 production goal of 1600 applications processed. Clients who use our tenant screening program support our other community development efforts including beautification, landlord training, affordable housing production, rental property development, gas station remediation, development facilitation, infrastructure improvements, among other programs.
With so many changing neighborhoods revitalizing our city today, we think it’s time to start ensuring that change benefits both residents and property owners. We see a future of neighborhoods that people love to visit as much as they love to live in. We can help realize higher equity and lower turnover. A future of responsible residents who are invested in the health of the community. A future of engaged and accountable owners who see the potential in renters and businesses with unique perspectives. In a world where change is happening with or without us, we want to help neighborhoods make positive change.