Since 2020, unsheltered homelessness has risen by nearly 35% in Maricopa County and one of the biggest obstacles to ending it is finding landlords willing to rent to people who are living on the streets.
On Wednesday HOM, Inc in collaboration with Maricopa County and the Arizona Multihousing Association which represents landlords, launched a new program called Threshold, which is designed to provide financial incentives and support for landlords who agree to rent to people who are experiencing homelessness.
Backers are hoping the program will streamline the process for landlords and reduce barriers for potential renters.
"Our participants often are going to have issues, that's why they're homeless. So, income requirements, eviction histories, criminal backgrounds-some of these items we need to be flexible and adapt the selection criteria in order to make this work," said Michael Shore, CEO of HOM, Inc.
The program offers landlords a support team, 1.5 times the monthly rent as a signing bonus, and reimbursement for some damages and vacancy.
Maricopa County is using some of its federal COVID-19 relief assistance to fund the project, but Shore said the program will be a permanent program within the area's homelessness services system.