New landlord incentive program created to bring available housing resources to families in need

Posted at 1:06 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 08:25:28-05

ADA COUNTY — The Boise City & Ada County Housing Authorities (BCACHA) launched a new Landlord Incentive Program this month in the hope of increasing available housing resources for families in need.

With the recent boom and high demand housing market, the program’s goal is to help families in need of safe and affordable homes in Ada County. The Landlord Incentive Program was created to encourage property owners to take part in the Housing Choice Voucher.

“This is a really difficult time for renters across the spectrum, especially for those, who don’t have enough money to pay the full rent,” BCACHA Executive Director, Deanna Watson said.

This program's money comes from the Federal CARE Act funding, designated explicitly for landlords who make properties available for voucher holders.

COVID-19 has caused job loss and created a spike in rental demand, making it tough for some to make payments.

"When we see kind of the bottom dropping out like we’ve seen these last few months during the pandemic and a lot of our service industry has folks losing their jobs. Those are the same folks who are on our rental assistance programs, those landlords aren’t having to evict people for non-payment because we’ve made up the difference in what they used to pay and what they no longer can," Watson said.

One Idaho landlord says he has seen tenants struggle since April and this would be very beneficial.

"We think it would be great that they have an alternative. That they don’t have to worry from month to month as to where their rent is going to come from,” Idaho landlord, Jim Tomilson said.

Typically, the landlord's income used for expenses every month, such as a mortgage payment, comes from a tenant's rent. If a renter cannot afford it, both sides are put in a tough spot.

"When we are not able to collect from folks that have and are feeling the pinch and don’t have the dollars for their rent, then we have a situation where it's hard for both sides,” Tomilson said.

BCACHA officials say this program is mutually beneficial to landlords and tenants because it guarantees monthly Housing Assistance Payments.

"We make up the difference, so if they were paying 500 and now have zero income, we’re going to pay the full 1,000 or whatever that top amount is. So the landlord has a safety net and the tenant has a safety net and our participants still have a place to live and be on good terms with their landlord,” Watson said.

Landlords who do take part in this incentive program can receive a $500 signing bonus from BCACHA if they sign up now until May 31, 2021, or until there are no more funds to give.

Interested property owners can visit BCACHA’s website for more information.