Press release from Homeward Bound:
Asheville – Homeward Bound was recently awarded a grant providing financial incentives to landlords in Buncombe County. Funding is provided by NC Healthy Blue (a division of Blue Cross Blue Shield) and the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness (NCCEH). These incentives are designed to provide rental property owners and managers with the resources needed to provide housing opportunities to those moving out of homelessness.
Incentives can include new-unit bonuses for every lease signed, double security deposits up to 2-month’s rent for a 12-month lease, funds to cover the costs of any up-fit repairs needed for units to pass inspection, risk mitigation funds to cover damages incurred during tenancy or post move-out, and housing stability bonuses for a 12-month lease renewal.
Landlords play a key role in helping Homeward Bound end homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County. They include individual private owners, larger developers, and property management groups.
Homeward Bound’s Housing Placement Manager Jessie Figueroa explains, “Our Housing staff works directly with our landlord partners to keep units filled and provide support with property and tenant management. With the availability of affordable housing shrinking, these incentives combined with the supportive services we offer allow us to build trust with landlord partners at a time of high demand and low supply.”
One landlord partner, Chris Snyder, shares his favorite part of working with Homeward Bound.
“For me, mostly it’s just getting to help people that are in need whenever they need a place to stay, and I’m in a place where I can provide that for them. The experience working with Homeward Bound has been phenomenal. Jessie and the team have all been a fantastic group of people to work with. I truly believe that it’s their mission to end homelessness, and they go the extra mile for their landlords as well as the tenant. Their tenants all have big hearts. It’s been nothing but a pleasure for me to work with them.
Since 2006, Homeward Bound has moved more than 2,250 people into housing and 92% have not returned to homelessness (this figure represents housing retention across Homeward Bound’s most recent 12-month survey period.) The organization uses the Housing First model which embraces the principle that permanent housing is the foundation from which people can start rebuilding their lives. Until a person experiencing homelessness has a safe, secure place to live, he or she cannot move forward with addressing other struggles like mental illness, substance use or chronic illness.