Salvation Army holds $4 billion in real estate to provide housing for employees
March 16, 2010
In an effort to make up for small salaries, the Salvation Army offers rent-free homes that it owns to the organization's officers, according to a recent report.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Salvation Army now owns $4 billion in real estate assets which it uses to house the charity's leaders. The figure accounts for one-third of the organization's total value.
In Los Angeles and Orange counties alone, the organization's 87 houses, condominiums and other commercial real estate are worth $52 million.
The officers - who are required to marry only other organization leaders, spread a religious message and live modestly - are the backbone of the Salvation Army. Although some of the housing is unoccupied, Salvation Army officials say that selling it would require them to pay higher wages for officers to rent their own homes.
"It would put a stress on our operating budget," he said. "We think financially this has worked to our advantage."
The nonprofit financial management
strategy has paid off, the Salvation Army says. It allows the organization to easily transfer leaders around the country, which it has done since 1852, when the organization started its evangelic mission and charity efforts in England.