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CSI Community Rent Pool

A quote "We are social creatures... A good community doesn't leave anyone behind." by Tonya Surman

CSI’s values have always been rooted in the power of community. We are a community built by, and for, community. We do not want any member to have to shut their door because they can no longer afford their rent or membership fee due to COVID-19.

As the realities of the COVID-19 ‘new normal’ began to settle in, in late March, we conducted a member survey to see how they were faring. Among other questions, we asked our members what their desired rent or membership arrangement would be to help them through these unprecedented times:

  • 48% will continue to pay their full rent
  • 19% requested a month-to-month relationship
  • 9% suggested that a 50% rent deferral would help

With this in mind, we offered a range of payment options and turned the idea into a Community Rent Pool – effectively a pay-what-you-can rent model – and an effort to provide maximum flexibility for our members as they grapple with so many challenges that COVID-19 has brought.

Tonya Surman, our CEO relays, “When we brought the idea of the Community Rent Pool to the board, they were incredibly supportive and they actually gave me permission to be more bold. They told me “Take the Moon Shot. Live your values. Step up.”

The Community Rent Pool was created using the following principles:

  • For the community, by the community. Solidarity and collectivism are at the heart of our design principles. We are a community. We are in this together.
  • Everyone is different and needs different things. We aim to craft a solution that is fair and equitable for everyone.
  • Members first. We are here to serve our members. No one should be left behind. If members want to stay with CSI, we will find a way to make that happen.

The results of our Member Survey can be found in our Impact Report, please read and share widely!