Aslan Housing Foundation does three things:
coach pastors, disciple stakeholders, and create housing solutions.
Our goal is to understand how housing affects ministry staff, both personally and at work.
We’ve found coaching to be particularly encouraging for emerging leaders. They are often left to fend for themselves in the housing market and they long to see a way to remain in ministry here. Our approach, expertise, and ideas are a balm for their anxieties. It is a calling, for sure, to serve in the expensive Bay Area. And yet, let’s not forget that God is at work in other, less expensive states—Idaho, anyone?
People in ministry are fleeing our region to serve elsewhere. So, what do we discuss? Staff housing goals and timelines. How to take full advantage of the tax breaks uniquely offered to pastors. How credentials below ordination offer access to housing allowances. How to get federal student loan forgiveness for working at a nonprofit. All of it under air-tight NDAs. We’ve earned the trust of staff who know we don’t share anything with stakeholders, colleagues, or supervisors. We have a committed team of advisors that help navigate real estate, personal budgeting, and lending issues facing pastors. Coaching ensures Aslan is co-creating housing solutions that meet the price, location, and size metrics important to staff.
We present at congregational, senior staff, and lay leadership team meetings to explain the need.
We publish newsletters, blogs, and social posts with housing facts and the scriptural foundations of our work. It is surprising how many faithful people are unaware of how middle and junior employees are riven with anxiety about housing—not to mention, stressed out lead pastors, executive pastors, heads of school, and executive directors that are themselves housing insecure. We conduct surveys to show the delta between staff and stakeholder income levels and housing security. Many congregants are shocked when they realize that ministry staff are often considered Low or Very Low Income by HUD benchmarks.
CREATING HOUSING SOLUTIONS
This is the hard part. Hope is not a strategy.
To create and design affordable housing solutions we work with ministry staff, investors, donors, lenders, real estate agents, and property owners. Aslan is committed to long-term, equity-based solutions. This is expensive for Aslan. But the value is long-term stability and growth for the staff and the ministry.
Cash rental assistance has an occasional role in stabilizing the home situation for staff. However, funds spent on that exit the ministry ecosystem and cannot be recouped—so it’s never our first choice.
Below-market rate (BMR) rentals are a better step on the pathway to homeownership. Aslan owns homes it rents at BMR and works with other owners willing to do the same. Aslan manages properties for these owners at a cost-effective rate that makes this feasible.
Check out our Marketplace to post available BMR housing or request it.
Most of all, Aslan prefers to come alongside staff wishing to buy a home and through a series of scaffolded steps move them along the continuum from renting to homeownership. We call this The Path To The Promised Land!