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As you choose the structure for your tenant council, one thing that is sure to come up is the question of money. There are many ways to get money for your tenant council, and each choice has its advantages and disadvantages.

The first choice you will have to make is whether you want to have a Treasurer and a bank account, or if you would rather just keep your treasury “in the members’ pockets”. If you have a Treasurer and a bank account, you run the risk of potential disagreements and splits over who controls the money and where it is or is not. If you go this route, which is best suited to larger amounts of money, here are a few ideas:

  • Talk to HUD about grants for Tenant Councils.
  • Approach foundations and churches for financial assistance.

Some tenant councils opt to avoid this route and instead just raise the money when it’s actually needed by getting donations from members and grassroots fundraising. Following are a few typical methods:

  • Get everyone together and hold a bake sale or a yard sale.
  • Go doorknocking in your building and ask for donations.
  • Call a meeting over the issue and ask for donations.
  • Approach the city government for financial assistance.