The co-founders of a residential real estate firm in Tarzana have established a foundation that they hope will keep some cash-strapped renters from becoming homeless.
Gelt Inc. partners Keith Wasserman and Damian Langere announced Thursday the launch of the Gelt Foundation, a nonprofit that provides rental assistance to tenants facing financial hardship. They have appointed Tina Oswald, a former legal administrator, as its executive director.
“The Gelt Foundation’s prevention model is very unique,” Oswald said in a statement. “Our goal is to enable responsible tenants to stay in their homes during an unexpected financial crisis.”
Renters with an overall positive rental history who have fallen behind on a payment can be referred to the foundation through property managers. The nonprofit will decide to provide either a no-interest loan or grant to the tenant depending on how likely she or he is to be able to overcome their circumstances. Those who receive assistance will also be provided with resources for improving financial literacy, such as budgeting classes or credit counseling.
The Gelt Foundation already has a few success stories. Two renters in Houston received assistance after Hurricane Harvey left them jobless, while funds given last month to a Bakersfield woman prevented her and her four children from being evicted from their apartment.