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Rent Right

Rent Right is a twice-weekly financial literacy course (13 classes) designed to help homeless adults identify and take the steps necessary to find rental housing in Sonoma County or to relocate to a less expensive area. Students learn the mechanics and rationales of the application process and the landlord-tenant business relationship. Each student receives a copy of his/her credit report and at least one session with a credit expert to devise a plan to improve his/her credit profile in the eyes of most landlords. Students examine their income and expenses through the lens of Behavioral Economics--setting up reminders to pay bills, automating payments, creating specific plans, etc. Students work on small teams with volunteers who serve as mentors/coaches. Much of the learning is done within the small groups. Other instruction comes from guest instructors who are expert in the subject matter and from Cots' lead instructor. Students can become eligible for an incentivizing financial and services guarantee from CotS to their landlords. CotS created the curriculum for those transitioning out of homelessness.

 Accepted to the Portfolio: December 2016

Target Outcomes

Short Term Outcomes

  • Students demonstrate increased confidence and knowledge in the following areas:
    • landlord-tenant business relationship
    • housing search
    • affordable housing opportunities
    • information to consider before relocating
  • Reduced financial stress
  • Increased understanding of affordable housing opportunities

Long Term Outcomes

  • Participants will maintain housing and financial well-being
  • Improved financial stability community-wide

Target Population


  • Adult (25 - 60)

Service Area


  • Southeast (District 1)
  • Southwest (District 2)
  • Central (District 3)
  • Northeast (District 4)
  • Northwest (District 5)