Affordable Housing & Property Management: CLDI’s Upside Down Mindset

Jul 25, 2022

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When it comes to property revitalization and management, CLDI’s kingdom mindset is at the forefront of every decision.

A slumlord is a landlord who buys and rents properties in substandard living conditions. They often require cash for exorbitant rental rates and fail to maintain or improve properties. For most of us, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would ever rent from a slumlord, but hard times have a way of backing us into a corner. When it comes to housing, many feel that a roof over your
head is better than the alternative. Unfortunately, slumlords are not uncommon on the South Side of Billings and lengthy legal procedures make it difficult to eradicate them.

Our business model, at Koinonia Management Company, stands in stark contrast to that of a slumlord. Instead of trying to make the most money possible, our goal is to provide the best quality housing at the most affordable prices. We want families to have a place where they can thrive. We’ve often found that when we can help people move into a new place with dignity, they feel a sense of pride and their desire to care for their space and community is magnified. We work earnestly to have an upside-down, kingdom-living mindset throughout CLDI and we love to find creative solutions to the problems our community faces.

Sometimes, we have a quick response, but more often than not we are playing the long game. The property where Mosaic Senior Living now sits was ranked on Billing’s infamous Dirty Dozen list in 2019. For those unfamiliar, the Dirty Dozen list is a collection of the city’s worst property code violators. Typically, a property makes the Dirty Dozen list when code enforcement has no response or progress – in most cases, for years. If a property makes this public list, it then goes before the city council and the property’s owners are sometimes more motivated to address the problems. In other cases, though, the owners are still unmotivated or unable to make necessary improvements. Located right beside Rail//Line Coffee, we had our eye on 114 & 116 S. 29th Street, and were hopeful for an opportunity to purchase the property when the time was right. Despite being mired in lien after lien, the owner was unwilling to sell because he had nowhere to go. When the city eventually condemned the house and the owner exited the property, we were able to present the owner with a fair offer that would allow him to walk away from the property debt-free. This cost CLDI more money, but it empowered the owner to embark upon the next chapter of his life without the weight of debt. This is exactly the type of value we want to live out in the way we do business.


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