Study Shows Importance of Rent Assistance to Low Income Job Seekers

October 26th, 2017

Worksystems funds and supports training for participants in Portland's Economic Opportunity Program (EOP), an initiative to help low-income individuals develop career goals and pursue training that lead to self-sufficiency. EOP customers work with Career Coaches to create career plans and access a variety of basic skills classes, occupational training and job search assistance to obtain living-wage employment.   

Rent assistance improves outcomes for low-income training participants

Many program participants struggle with housing stability while in training so Worksystems partnered with Home Forward, the Portland Housing Bureau, A Home for Everyone and Human Solutions to provide rent assistance. Through a grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, an analysis was conducted to determine if there is an impact on training and employment outcomes for those who received rent assistance compared to participants who did not receive the additional support due to limited funding. 

The report shows that rent assistance recipients:

  • were 38% more likely to complete training
  • were 67% more likely to obtain career track employment
  • experienced twice the amount of income gain 

  The report also shows a positive return on investment for the local community:

  • Those who received rent assistance increased their annualized income by triple the total amount of the rent assistance disbursed
  • 76% of those who received rent assistance were still in stable housing 12 months after the financial support ended 

Thank you to the many partners working with us to support the success of EOP customers! The full analysis is attached below.