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Locating Housing Challenges and Solutions The Lancaster County Pennsylvania Experience Kay Moshier McDivitt Vice President for Programs Tabor Community.

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Presentation on theme: "Locating Housing Challenges and Solutions The Lancaster County Pennsylvania Experience Kay Moshier McDivitt Vice President for Programs Tabor Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Locating Housing Challenges and Solutions The Lancaster County Pennsylvania Experience Kay Moshier McDivitt Vice President for Programs Tabor Community Services, Inc. 308 East King Street, PO Box 1676 Lancaster, PA , ext 120

2 2 Our Community County of 450,000 City of Lancaster: 60,000 person situated in the middle of Lancaster County Very diversified population (from very rural Mennonite/Amish communities to a large concentration of Latino’s in the city) Neither the city nor county government has taken ownership of homelessness, shelters or ending homelessness

3 3 Tabor Community Services Our Mission: To rebuild communities by helping families find housing and financial solutions HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1971 A Member of the National Federation of Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies since 1988

4 4 Shelter to Independent Living Program Program Mission is to mainstream homeless households back into the community into permanent housing through landlord advocacy, housing counseling, budget counseling and case management and to provide education, resources and accountability to empower homeless households with the skills and disciplines necessary for long term self sufficiency.

5 5 Part One Locating Housing

6 6 How Are Families Housed? The issues we face Program provides no housing subsidy to families Community has limited subsidized housing options –Section 8 and Public Housing Waiting Lists are Closed “Affordable” Housing Developments are not affordable to households on fixed incomes Limited Supportive Housing which is essential for some

7 7 How do we find housing? 85% of households are housed in general housing stock Use private landlords, property managers and developers Have developed “partnerships with over 300 landlords/property managers” Good Reputation in the community as a service provider/housing counseling agency

8 8 Limited Subsidized Housing 18 Shelter plus Care with the city PHA (8 one bedroom, 8 two bedroom and 2 three bedroom) 26 units of SRO Permanent Supportive Housing SHP Projects (all for singles) Tabor just opened 8 apartment, 5 for families and 3 for singles of Permanent Supportive Housing Homeless Preference: Both PHA’s give 20% of vouchers when they become available to homeless working with housing first programs

9 9 How do we pay for the rest? Partnerships with agencies that provide rental assistance –Salvation Army, CAP, County Assistance Office, Council of Churches Negotiate Rents Faith Based Community –New project of subsidizing housing units –Assistance with move in costs

10 10 Making it Work Intensive ongoing Budget Counseling Protective Payee Services Case Management: Coordinating with employment providers, job training programs to increase resources Each year over 70% of our new referrals increase their income while in the program Partnership/Collaboration/More Partnerships/More Collaboration Creativity is key: any idea is worth considering

11 11 Part Two Working With Landlords

12 12 Developing Landlord Partnerships 1.Creative partnerships are key to successful programs 2.No magic solutions: each partnership is developed on a case by case basis 3.Program does not provide any housing assistance 4.Staff have dual role of landlord and client advocacy- takes skill to manage both tasks

13 13 Why the Dual Counselor Role? One staff is better able to see the whole picture and can create more successful matches –Allows for more choice of what works the best for the landlord and for the client. Keeps an ongoing connection –Allows for developing more ongoing trust with landlords –Better able to negotiate terms of the lease Allows for more balance in work –Finding landlords and housing search is very demanding –Less burnout with diversity of tasks

14 14 Key Elements to Developing Creative Landlord Partnerships HONESTY –Be truthful about what is in your control and what is not –Don’t promise something that will not happen –Be clear about your role INTEGRITY –Always follow through with what you say you will provide/do –Be accountable to the landlord, keep him/her informed of any changes

15 15 Innovative Design Elements What’s in it for them: The Win/Win Required Landlord/Tenant Education Class ( pay rent, keep your unit clean, be a good neighbor) Protective Payee Services Budgeting Services Lease Addendum Additional Housing Support to address housing/lease issues Tenant Home Visits Finder Service

16 16 Engaging the Private Sector Market Meet one on one with potential landlords Use marketing tools that describe the win/win…what’s in it for them Use your organization’s reputation in the community. Sell your program with documented successes/key outcomes. Use any contact (even outside of work) as an opportunity to identify potential landlords and sell your program. Consider the faith based community Host an event to connect with landlords/market housing first.

17 17 Our Marketing Packet Agency Brochure gives general overview of our organization and all the services we offer. Program Brochure developed specifically for the landlord can answer program specific questions. Client Success Stories of past successes gives a sense of a personal involvement. Copy of the Lease Addendum to review the details and explain any questions that may arise. Orientation Flyer given to participants at their orientation allows them to see the same information that we provide to a potential tenant. A Personal Letter is specific to the client’s need for a particular property that landlord may have.

18 18 Remember Everyone deserves a home. Helping a client rent in the private market empowers them to be a long term successful renter. There is no “quick fix” for engaging the private sector market. It takes tenacity and hard work. Smart Communication is a key to success with landlords. Always think “honesty” and “integrity”. Market the win/wins. Don’t make Promises you can’t keep.

19 19 Happy Partnering!! Kay Moshier McDivitt Vice President for Programs Tabor Community Services, Inc. 308 East King Street, PO Box 1676 Lancaster, PA , ext 120


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