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Housing authority introduces landlord incentive program

By: Kevin Oklobzija//July 20, 2020

Housing authority introduces landlord incentive program

By: Kevin Oklobzija//July 20, 2020

In an effort to confront a growing affordable housing crisis, the Rochester Housing Authority has launched an incentive program in hopes of gaining broader participation from landlords in the federal Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV).

The HCV is the federal government’s primary means for assisting low-income families, elderly and persons with disabilities to find quality, safe housing they can afford in the private market.

There are 9,000 families in the area in the housing authority’s HCV program (also known as Section 8), with 300 to 600 participants actively looking for a rental unit.

The housing authority believes the requirements for landlord inclusion in the HCV program can be cumbersome, and thus may be a deterrent for attracting additional participating properties. That’s why the incentive program, which runs through Oct. 1, was created.

“We hope by reducing financial and process barriers for area property owners, we can encourage greater participation in critical low-income rental programs that will increase options for program participants and ultimately help create long-term stability for those with the greatest need of support,” Shawn Burr, deputy executive director of the Rochester Housing Authority, said in a news release.

The RHA program will make $515,000 in incentives available through federal funding from the CARES Act.

The incentives include:

  • The RHA will pay the security deposit for participants impact by the coronavirus pandemic for up to the cost of one month’s rent;
  • New HCV program participants will receive a one-time $1,000 payment when a new unit is leased to a HCV participant. Existing program landlords will receive a $500 bonus. There is a limit of five qualifying units per landlord.
  • Landlords will be reimbursed up to $1,000 for vendor services used to make repairs or improvements to a Section 8 housing unit;
  • Reimbursement of up to $500 per unit is available for a lead clearance or lead testing costs.

For more information on the incentive program, visit the RHA website.

[email protected]/(585) 653-4020

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