Do you want to know an unfortunate but unsurprising fact? According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, it's estimated that nearly half of all US workers cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment rental.
America is not alone in this issue. In the UK, the cost of rent is rising faster than wages and more than 8 million people find themselves living in unsuitable housing. This can include overcrowded homes and poor, sometimes hazardous, conditions.
And though both countries offer housing programs to help residents in need, it's not enough, as many continue to face these challenges regardless. So, some people have been inspired to take things into their own hands.
Enter Rebecca Goodwin, a 28-year-old OnlyFans content creator who told BuzzFeed she was getting "sick of seeing how ridiculous rental prices were becoming," and she decided it was time for her to do what she could to help.
In January of this year, Rebecca opened the first of her intended eight properties she plans on purchasing in full and renting out to low-income families for very little. "The ball is now rolling with my 'affordable housing scheme,'" she tweeted, tongue-in-cheek. "One house I'll be renting out is a three-story, four bedroom, three bathroom house with off road parking for two cars. Fully furnished [and] £650 a month!" (Which equates to $696.67 a month.)
Rebecca currently owns two of her planned eight homes, which were in good condition at the time of purchase and only needed redecorating. While searching for her third acquisition, though, she wants to step away from online market searches and try renovating a home purchased through auctioning.
When speaking on what inspired her to provide affordable housing for those in need, she pointed out that when "housing is seen as a business rather than a necessity, it's the poorer families that are left struggling," she said. "I've been there myself and figured this would be a way to help at least a few."
To find potential tenants, the 28-year-old is working with local food banks to help identify those who could truly benefit from affordable housing.
"I get a lot of emails from people asking me to give them a house," she said. "[My homes] won't be available to the general public. ... [The food banks are] going to help me find the ideal tenants that really need it."
And with regards to pricing, the rent for each home is decided by looking at rates in the area and "massively undercutting every one," she said.
Though her efforts were widely commended online, a vocal minority harped on the fact that her profits would be minuscule and suggested that her housing plan was a poor financial decision. However, Rebecca asserts that she's not looking for wide margins of profit. Furthermore, by buying the homes outright, she is not beholden to a monthly mortgage payment, so she can charge as much as she wishes.
"I make enough profit on OnlyFans," she said. "I'm not doing it to make me more money."
Expanding on this, Rebecca told BuzzFeed that the homes will serve members of her community while she's alive, and they will be inherited by her two children when she passes. "I can leave them four houses each, then they're set for life," she said.
Rebecca's original post announcing her progress toward providing housing has been viewed by nearly 640,000 people online, and the comment section largely rings with praise. "It’s a fantastic idea and I like the long term goal of investments for your children," one commenter said.
"What the other guys don’t understand is that you don’t need to see a profit. Just make enough to be able to maintain the property while keeping it affordable to renters. Bravo you!"