June 25, 2007 – University Neighborhood Partners (UNP), Salt Lake Community Action Program (SLCAP), and Zion’s Bank have teamed up to administer an account that accepts private donations that will help the hundreds of residents living at the Hartland Apartment Complex. The funds will support families dealing with rent increases and relocation. Donations are now being accepted at Salt Lake Community Action Program, 764 South 200 West. Checks should be made out to SLCAP/Hartland Project. Inquiries can be made to SLCAP at 801-359-2444.
Funds raised will be distributed by SLCAP. Applicants will only be eligible for consideration if they have participated in a financial education program including budgeting. This family financial literacy program will be offered by the College of Social Work faculty and students in collaboration with the SLCAP staff.
“Social work interns are meeting with residents and conducting financial assessments. UNP’s philosophy is that residents already have the knowledge regarding the best ways to care for themselves and their families, which builds on the knowledge that residents bring and teach ways to apply their knowledge to new systems,” said UNP Director Rosemarie Hunter, Ph.D.
Teams of faculty and students from the department of family and consumer studies began working early on with community partners and Hartland residents to develop a Financial Fitness program through the UNP-Hartland Partnership Center, an on-site campus-community capacity-building project co-created by University members and residents. The UNP-Hartland Center has provided a set of resources—such as home buyer education, health access, English-as-a-Second Language classes, and early childhood programs—directly to the rental complex since 2004.
Through individual consultation or classes, the Financial Fitness Program has taught residents to manage their money and develop budgets that will support their needs. Learning about educational and credit resources helps residents avoid debt and prepares them for home ownership. Social work students will now extend this existing financial fitness program, working with residents as they access the funds set up by SLCAP and Zions Bank.
Hunter added, “This a great partnership. Zions Bank and SLCAP are strong supporters of creative community initiatives and advocates for the availability of affordable housing for Utah residents.”
While larger issues regarding affordable housing are being addressed by city officials, private donations utilized in this way provide an immediate way to help many families avoid eviction or relocation, said Hunter. Instead, “families can remain in an environment invested with a support system that recognizes what residents have to offer the larger community,” said Hunter.
The community at Hartland Apartments is a 300 unit complex located near 1700 South and Redwood Road. Some of the units have been subsidized for low-income residents. Hartland is one of the resettlement sites for the two primary refugee resettlement agencies in Salt Lake. Hartland is home to nearly 1,000 adults and children from all over the world—Somalia, Peru, Sudan, Central and Eastern Europe, Mexico, and the United States. Over 75 percent of the residents are non-native English speakers.
Since its inception five years ago, University Neighborhood Partners bridges Utah’s flagship university with seven west Salt Lake neighborhoods and various local community organizations to forge campus-community relationships that result in mutually-beneficial learning, action, and respect. Through UNP, University researchers develop relationships that enable them to tap into the existing knowledge pool underrepresented communities offer, and team up with residents to address various community challenges or opportunities.