Los Angeles County is hoping to encourage landlords to lease entire apartment buildings to homeless individuals holding rental subsidies, with the Board of Supervisors Tuesday committing $10 million in incentives over five years.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl proposed the new program, in part as a way to permanently house residents living in otherwise unoccupied motel rooms that may not remain available once most residents are vaccinated.
“It’s only homes that end homelessness,” Kuehl said.
Available listings under the county’s existing landlord incentive programs have gone up by more than 1,200 units over the last five months, according to Kuehl. And property owners at 10 buildings, representing a total of 373 apartments, have already expressed interest in leasing entire buildings once the new incentives are in place. The county’s new incentive program will cover the costs of property management, repairs, maintenance and vacancies for landlords who agreed to offer more affordable rents.
“We’ve learned… property owners are interested in a ‘double bottom line,”‘ Kuehl said. “They like receiving rent reliably on the first of the month as well as the other guarantees we offer, such as covering the cost of property management and building repairs.
“Property owners also appreciate being able to support county efforts to re-house veterans, older residents, families and others as they move from homelessness to housing,” she added.
The hope is that the $10 million will allow the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to quickly scale up the inventory of available units and place individuals with rent subsidies into new, permanent homes.