How did the Lotus Campaign start? 

The Lotus Campaign was born out of our team’s desire to do more for people experiencing homelessness. We knew a dire problem would require radical solutions. 

Our team’s diverse experiences in real estate, workforce housing, psychology, and urban planning led us to develop the Lotus Campaign, which we founded to reimagine how our country is empowered and enabled to respond to homelessness. 

What is Lotus Campaign’s goal?

Our goal is to dramatically increase the availability of housing for people experiencing homelessness by engaging the for-profit sector as partners in the solution. 

How is the Landlord Participation Program different from “risk mitigation” or “incentive” programs I have heard about?

The Landlord Participation Program began with two questions: Why isn’t the for-profit sector at the table to create scalable and lasting impact in the arena of housing and homelessness?  And where are there gaps in connectivity with solutions from the public and nonprofit sector?

Our program considers the risk and cost barriers that keep landlords from making apartments available to those experiencing homelessness. 

Our Landlord Participation Program breaks down those barriers by providing an upfront participation payment and economic guarantees (a guarantee against loss of rent or damages in exchange for waiving the security deposit and agreeing to give us 30 days’ notice before filing for an eviction to landlords), minimizing their risks. We also ensure that tenants receive social services from our partner nonprofits, while they’re being housed. Lotus bridges the gaps between those who know the most about real estate and investment and those who know the most about ongoing support and social services. 

Our program brings together allies to open more and new doors. 

I am a landlord.  How do I get involved?

We would love to get you involved. Sign up for updates below and send an email to landlords@lotuscampaign.org and we’ll be sure to get in touch with you.

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I am part of a nonprofit that helps the homeless secure housing.  How do I take advantage of the Landlord Participation Program?

We would love to get you involved.  Sign up for updates below and send an email to organizations@lotuscampaign.org and we will get in touch with you.

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Does the Landlord Participation Program work? 

Yes!  After two years we have facilitated housing for more than 346 individuals as part of our pilot in Charlotte, NC. Our impact to date proves that disrupting an inefficient system through nontraditional ideas and new models makes a tangible difference. 

Are you just displacing one tenant with someone who is currently homeless?

There is a critical shortage of affordable housing in the United States. While the cause is multifaceted, economics play a major role. The cost to maintain and operate multifamily residential properties has increased to the point that landlords are faced with a choice of raising rents dramatically, deferring maintenance, or demolishing the property for new development. Both choices reduce the supply of decent affordable housing.

Our Landlord Participation Program seeks to address this by offering landlords participation payments that can be used to make needed repairs or to increase the profitability of the property.  By increasing the viability of a property, we believe our Landlord Participation Program preserves affordable residential units.

Our Acquisitions Program leverages capital as a tool for social impact and invests in existing properties to address the shortage of quality, safe and affordable housing. Using philanthropic capital and private debt and equity, we acquire an interest in multifamily housing in exchange for a portion of the units being dedicated to increasing housing for people experiencing homelessness or those at risk of becoming homeless. The remainder is preserved as market-rate workforce housing. 

How do tenants pay rent after they have been approved for housing?

A resident’s base rent is generally paid from their earnings, a housing voucher, funds from their Sponsoring Organization, or some combination of those sources.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes! Lotus Campaign is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) entity. All contributions are tax deductible.  

Why are you named the Lotus Campaign?

The story of the lotus starts with the mud. Mud that lays at the bottom of a pond, unseen, and conveniently out of mind. The type of mud that no one wants any part of. And yet, it is from this mud that the lotus flower arises. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “No mud, no lotus”.

Nothing is more analogous to pond mud than homelessness. If it is out of sight and out of mind, we are able to ignore its existence. Lotus flowers have been revered for millennia by the Egyptians, Buddhists, and Hindus. The flower submerges each night and blossoms each morning, making it an apt symbol for rebirth, regeneration, and the promise of hope in the face of darkness.

What is up with the pink and yellow? 

Our favorite question! The pink and yellow represent the colors of the lotus blossom, specifically the petals and the flower core. Yellow is the color of optimism and energy; pink is the color of compassion and universal love of oneself and of others.

Where does the Lotus Campaign operate?

We currently operate in Charlotte, North Carolina. We plan to expand to other parts of the country soon.  

Are your Board of Directors paid for their involvement?

Our board members are not paid but are reimbursed for reasonable expenses and travel costs.