Racial Equity Pledge

Avesta Housing condemns the acts of violence and injustice against people of color that are currently taking place and that have taken place in the past weeks, months, and years. We recognize that individuals, institutions, and systems have worked against the best interest of people of color in our country for hundreds of years. Racial injustice and violence against people of color in our communities are highlighting how much work we still have to do in this country to ensure that people of all backgrounds are treated fairly, respectfully, and equitably. We are committed to fighting racism and aggressively building racial equity in our organization and community.

As an organization with founding principles grounded in expanding access to safe, affordable housing for people of all backgrounds, Avesta has a demonstrated history of action to address inequities in housing. By extension, and in reflection of our mission and core values, Avesta has a responsibility as a nonprofit organization and a housing provider to use our voice to fight racism in the community at large and within our own organization and residential properties. We have prioritized building racial equity and taking the next steps of self-reflection, learning, growth, action, and change, beginning with an examination of our policies and approaches, in order to achieve racial equity. This is not just a statement; it is a pledge to build racial equity within our organization, within the properties we own and manage, and within the larger community.

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Rent Reporting Promotes Financial Stability for Avesta Housing Residents

Having good credit saves people money. It gives them lower interest rates on loans and credit cards and helps make large purchases possible. Many times at Avesta we see people apply for apartments and have absolutely no credit on file. This may be someone who is new to this country or someone who has rented apartments their entire life and has had no reason to take out a loan. This thin credit file prevents them from renting from some landlords or even buying a home in the future.

Avesta Housing has recently teamed up with Experian Rent Bureau to begin reporting positive rent payments to Experian credit bureau. By reporting positive rent payments that people are already making, it helps build their credit by creating a tradeline and showing positive payments. This is a no brainer for us — if you make rent payments on time, why shouldn’t you get credit for it?

In a study by Experian with a sample size of 20,000 subsidized renters, it was found that 95% saw their credit score increase or no change, and at least 53% of the study participants saw an increase of 11 points or more. Most people migrated to less risky credit profiles, leading to potentially lower credit card interest rates. After reporting positive rent payments 97% of these residents were now considered prime or non prime, and most of the “previously no-hit residents transitioned to prime risk segment category.”

Avesta Housing is the first affordable housing provider to offer this service through Experian Rent Bureau in Maine. We’re excited to provide this service to our residents. Helping build and improve credit for people living in affordable housing will lead to financial stability and new opportunities; it will also help residents save money for the future.


By Travis Heynen, Director of Housing & Services


Travis has worked in Avesta’s Property Management division since 2011. In his current role, he focuses on resident needs and satisfaction, data collection/usage, and new tools and resources. Travis is a champion of low-income people and their quest to achieve financial stability through affordable housing and residents services. A data mastermind and a stickler for detail, Travis uses his keen analytic skills to design effective programs that improve the lives of Avesta residents.



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