Strategies to End Homelessness is launching a new and innovative Landlord Engagement program in support of our Shelter Diversion program. Simply not enough landlords are aware of the Shelter Diversion program. And they are not actively making units available to households trying to avoid homelessness.
Why this is needed now
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was hard to find affordable housing. Now, it is increasingly difficult. Our Housing Specialists currently need 45 to 60 days to find and secure affordable, safe units for our participants. Pre-pandemic, our benchmark was 30 days. Cincinnati has recently seen an exponential increase in rents, making rental property difficult to keep and even more difficult to obtain without the ability to put up huge amounts of money upon signing of the lease.
How Landlord Engagement works
Once accepted into the Shelter Diversion program, our Housing Specialists assist participants in locating and securing housing of the participant’s choice. They work as a go-between; creating and maintaining consistent communication channels, both verbal and written, between tenant, landlord, and agency partners. The goal is to stably house Shelter Diversion participants.
Our landlord partners that rent units to our Shelter Diversion participants frequently do so on a recurring basis. This is because of how quickly we fill units and because tenants are connected with Case Management services for support. Additionally, we intend to build off the work and knowledge of our Housing Specialists to develop a more comprehensive Landlord Engagement Program. This will ensure that our Shelter Diversion participants have access to safe, affordable rental units.
Moving forward, we plan to increase our work to recruit and cultivate relationships with more landlords. Using best practices based on the experiences of other Continuums of Care that provide housing search assistance. We will develop incentives and supports property owners can expect, develop presentations on housing programs, present to property owner groups, and advocate for incentives to property owners/landlords. And there are other tactics from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a national partner.
Because the need is great – we need you! Cincinnati area landlords, please contact us at email@example.com!