Local landlords are welcome to become part of a network of peers who have agreed to rent to homeless or at-risk households, network with fellow landlords, and learn about the benefits of the Landlord Engagement Program.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - March 30, 2023 - PRLog -- -
Valley Youth House
3400 High Point Blvd
Bethlehem, PA 18017
Thursday, March 30, 2023
5:30 - 7 PM
According to Jill Seitz, a senior planner at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, there is a nationwide housing deficit not exclusive to the Lehigh Valley. Seitz was quoted in February 2023, stating that "the region has a shortage of over 90,000 housing units." (Lehighvalleynews.com). Marc Rittle, executive director at New Bethany, states that the Lehigh Valley in 2022 saw a 36% increase in the number of unhoused people. "For families and children, that's a 47% increase," he said.
With funding made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) grant, and additional funds from Wells Fargo and Housing Alliance, the Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board (LVRHAB) has launched the Landlord Engagement Program. LVRHAB is a consortium of individuals, agencies, and other stakeholders that direct and coordinate community-wide efforts toward ending chronic homelessness, preventing homelessness, and addressing housing insecurity.
The Landlord Engagement Program (LEP) offers local landlords the opportunity to be part of a group dedicated to helping homeless or at-risk households. Through housing advocate programs at Sixth Street Shelter, New Bethany, Lehigh Conference of Churches, Catholic Charities, Third Street Alliance, Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, and Valley Youth House, the LEP connects units made available through the program with those who need affordable housing. The program ensures guaranteed rental payment, reimbursement for property damage or missed rent, case management for tenants, and other supports. Units are offered to tenants at standard rental rates, and those tenants receive the right of first refusal before the vacancy goes public.
According to Associate Director of Housing & Emergency Services at Valley Youth House (https://www.valleyyouthhouse.org/), Michele Albright, "a steady supply of units is critical to the program's success. The Landlord Engagement Program represents a business opportunity for landlords with units, offering substantial benefits."
Landlords receive a $1,000 signing bonus for the first unit entered into the program, $500 for the second, and $250 for each additional unit. Money is also available for housing mitigation – to improve units made available for renters.
LVRHAB is hosting a Landlord Network Information Session for local landlords to meet one another and learn about the monetary support available to those who join the LVRHAB Landlord Network.
The program includes a presentation from Chuck Weiss, associate executive director of housing at Community Action Lehigh Valley, on weatherization, energy efficiency, and home repair programs. Guests will also hear from Yuslendy Zorrilla, Conference of Churches landlord navigator, about the LEP and its benefits and enjoy a Q&A session moderated by Michele Albright.
Landlords Mahan Sandhu, David Shields, and Demetrios Gouvalis will be honored as Landlord Network Community Champions with Congressional Commendation certificates from U.S. House Representative Susan Wild for their exceptional work in landlord engagement.
Attendees are invited to enjoy food and refreshments and enter for the chance to win a $100 Home Depot gift card.
Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)
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