Landlords in greater Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley with one-bedroom units to rent have the chance to collect their rent and help a tenant who's getting established with the help of supportive services.
Of course, it’s costly to maintain property and small landlords especially don’t want to risk their investments. There’s a support service that offers incentives to landlords while helping tenants.
Benefits to landlords through a new partnership include:
- An upfront leasing bonus of $500
- A non-refundable holding deposit up to the cost of 1 month’s rent
- Up to $2,000 for damage in excess of the security deposit
- Up to $3,000 to cover unpaid rents, abandoned units, eviction fees
“We just got the program up and running in August 2021,” says Keisha Hosea of the Landlord Incentive Program. It's run through Union Station Homeless Services in conjunction with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCG). She says funds are available and ready to be used. Landlords will typically be paid through Los Angeles County or a designated nonprofit.
“Most of the clients who have subsidies, vouchers, are looking for one-bedroom units. Sometimes those are back houses and often they’re going to be apartments.”
Tenants will have care coordinators for supportive services to leave homelessness. They’ll have help using their vouchers, moving in to a unit, and maintaining the unit.
Landlords will be paid through Los Angeles County, a designated nonprofit and in certain cases, they may get at least partial payment directly from the tenant.
“Our supportive services aims to address issues with tenants if they start to form,” says Hosea. “I tell landlords that’s another level of care and supervision that they’re receiving. There’s always someone there to support them and the client.”
Tenants get help handling needs like grocery store outings and visit to doctors.
“We’re making sure tenants are able to handle the supportive pieces that go into living.”
What vouchers cover
Vouchers cover as close to market rent as possible.
“There’s a rent reasonableness test that’s applied,” says Hosea, “and that includes how the unit compares to other ones around it? Is it priced fairly and appropriately for the market it’s in?”
She adds that a tenant who has a $ 1,600 voucher won’t be looking at a one-bedroom unit for a higher amount like $ 1,900. A person’s debt and income are also taken into consideration, and in limited cases it’s possible tenant can rent a unit that’s just above the voucher amount.
The local housing unit, whether in the City of Los Angeles, Pasadena, or County of Los Angeles, will work with the landlord to reach a solution.
The program is time limited and is currently scheduled with funds available through March 30, 2022 to “mitigate damage or an unexpected vacancy," as noted by the SGVCG, "beyond that date you will be linked to services that will continue to provide case management support.”
The number of homeless individuals in shelters dropped by 19% mid-way through 2021, compared to 2020. In a July 2021 briefing, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority officials said housing options have increased.
Every January, a task force holds an annual count and in 2021 the tally was around 4,500 homeless with Pasadena counting an additional 527 homeless. That number is "holding steady" compared to January 2020.
For more on Union Station programs and volunteer opportunities visit https://unionstationhs.org/contact/.
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