As a landlord, it’s an ongoing challenge to match the right resident with the right apartment, and to make sure that you’ve got a long-term tenant who will take care of the property.
Housing for veterans can be challenging, and the Metro Mayor’s Caucus and Landlords Opening Doors are working to change that. Mayors of Thornton, Aurora, Boulder, Westminster, Northglenn, Denver, Lakewood, Centennial, and Golden have joined together in an effort to match landlords who are willing to accept the housing vouchers that veterans have with the prospective residents.
Their open letter to Colorado landlords explains that the Landlords Opening Doors campaign is intended to find safe, stable housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness by working with community-oriented landlords and property managers. This program, in addition to involving more or less guaranteed payment of rent through vouchers, also allows access to funds from the Caucus to help cover “costs associated with vacancies, damages, and any damages/repairs that may occur” from the tenant.
Additional benefits include landlord and tenant support. Case managers are directly involved in the lives of the residents, working to ensure that renters are successful in their homes and communities. These case managers are also available to assist the residents with concerns about their employment and other issues, and work to make sure that the necessary support is there for both tenants and landlords.
It’s also important to note that the tenants who are referred through this program come to landlords pre-screened and ready to rent. They’ve already undergone responsibility training, they have a support network, and they have the necessary financial assistance and/or vouchers in place. This is a stark improvement over the way that many such programs function, where there may be a long lag time between when you meet the tenant and when funding or support is actually available. By ensuring the tenants are ready to rent, the program helps to reduce vacancies and get residents into the right apartments faster.
The Caucus further notes that tenants placed through the Landlords Opening Doors Campaign are likely to remain longer term, as opposed to market rate tenants who are highly mobile, sometimes too much so from the perspective of a landlord. Some of the types of vouchers involved in the program are the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Voucher and the Housing Choice Voucher, as well as other programs and subsidies.
The work being done through the Landlords Opening Doors Campaign is positive not only for the Denver Metro area and the residents, but for the entire state of Colorado. When vacancies can be filled with long-term tenants and social problems can be solved all in the same process, good work is being done. We applaud the work of the Campaign, and if you’re a Colorado landlord, you can join the effort at coloradolandlords.org.