Sarah Faulhafer is coordinating a program to help people settle into housing through the Society of Organized Services.

Sarah Faulhafer is coordinating a program to help people settle into housing through the Society of Organized Services.

SOS to make STAR tenants out of new housing program

Program will help locals achieve and sustain successful housing in Parksville Qualicum Beach

The Society of Organized Services will host a new program in February meant to help locals achieve and sustain successful housing experiences.

It’s called the STAR (Supporting Tenancy through Action and Resources) program and it is open to all individuals including men, women, couples and youth.

SOS coordinator Sarah Faulhafer said the program is “education-based,” aimed at people interested in learning their rights as a tenant and figuring out how to sustain housing options.

The program is open to anybody, but targets “people who have chronically bounced between housing.”

Faulhafer said it provides information about understanding tenant rights, as well as offers “transferable life skills” such as budgeting, living with others, conflict management, tenant responsibilities and using local resources.

“We look at the Residential Tenancy Act, talk about making a good first impression and how to research housing opportunities and there is even a module on living with roommates,” explains Faulhafer, who noted she saw a need for a program like this in the Parksville Qualicum Beach community.

“It was identified that some people were being evicted or facing eviction and maybe it wasn’t being done in the most legal way,” she said. “That comes from lack of information from both the landlord and renters and rather than let it get to that point, (this program) is about how to avoid it, ideally.”

There will be four sessions (one every Tuesday) in the month of February, which will last six hours each including breaks, and at the end attendees will receive a certificate. The certificate demonstrates that participants have taken the initiative to better their skills at tenancy.

Faulhafer said the program has room for eight to 10 people and is operated free of charge on a first come first serve basis. Registration is now open. For more information or to register contact Sarah Faulhafer at 250-248-2093.

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