From Homeless to Housed
Testimonials from Landlords about the Housing Choice Voucher Program
Over the years, property owners and managers have developed long lasting and successful relationships with local housing authorities. Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) landlords have discovered that making the housing authority a part of their business plan directly benefits their businesses and their local community as demonstrated by the experiences of participating landlords.
Since 2009, Ralph Duran has leased units to 18 families under the Housing Choice Voucher program and has recently participated in the Homeless Incentive Program (HIP) provided by the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles. “I recommend the Section 8 program to property owners because the agency is helping families and individuals access affordable housing and the money is guaranteed to be there every month, on time. I would recommend HIP as well because the program assists homeless individuals and families obtain permanent housing….and the monetary incentives to the landlords are great!"
Over the past 28 years, Michael Freedman of Shiva Enterprises has developed and maintained a partnership with the housing authority that is an inseparable part of his business. Freedman likes that his units are inspected regularly and enjoys the support of the housing authority staff when tenants fall behind on the rent.
To make the leasing and renewal processes go smoother, Freedman recommends that a landlord learn about housing authority inspections. “When your unit is being inspected for the first time…try to meet the inspector at the inspection of the home to get a better understanding of what they look for during the inspection,” Freedman says.
“Make it a priority to meet your tenant’s housing authority representative,” Freedman adds. “You can then express any concerns you have regarding your tenant. The housing authority representative will then work with you to find solutions.”
Freedman understands that landlords play a vital role in solving homeless issues in the community and would like to work with his local housing authority in order to provide more affordable housing opportunities for those that are in need. “There is no better feeling (almost a natural high) then when you provide a family safe and clean housing!” Freedman says.
With 17 years of rental housing experience, Jill Kelley-Farrell was only just introduced to the Section 8 program five years ago. After attending an Owner Advisory meeting at the Kern County Housing Authority, Kelley-Farrell liked the promise of guaranteed rent deposited in an assigned bank account on the 1st of every month. Now, over 20% of her portfolio is occupied by Section 8 tenants.
Kelley-Farrell feels that communication with the housing authority is important and makes sure to submit copies of all notices to the housing authority. “Realize you have an entire team at the Housing Authority to support your contracted tenants,” she says. Kelley-Farrell sees her company growing with the housing authority.
Ken Downing has been a landlord in Los Angeles for 30 years. He started working with programs like the Homeless Incentive Program (HIP) to provide housing to L.A.'s homeless.
"I get the satisfaction that I'm actually helping people, making a difference in the lives of people that need help," Downing said.