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4.3 Working with Landlords to Maintain Housing Stability (Weiss)


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Success in preventing homelessness and achieving rapid re-housing relies on developing and maintaining strong relationships with landlords. This workshop will discuss how to reach out and build working relationships with landlords, whether individuals or for-profit or not-for-profit entities. Consideration will be given to walking the fine line between acting as a liaison to landlords and being a consumer advocate when tenants have legal conflicts with property owners or requests for reasonable accommodations with property owners.

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4.3 Working with Landlords to Maintain Housing Stability (Weiss)

  1. 1. Working with Landlords to Maintain Housing Stability   Workshop Presentation National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference July 15, 2010 By Hazel Weiss, M.A. Housing and Community Development Manager Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department Hayward, CA
  2. 2. HCD Programs Working With Landlords in Alameda County <ul><li>Alameda County Shelter Plus Care Program </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Countywide Tenant-based Rental Assistance 263 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HOST 40 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HOPE 13 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FACT 13 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Countywide Sponsor-based Rental Assistance 65 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alameda Point Project-based Rental Assistance 14 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Harrison Hotel Single Room Occupancy 59 units </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Project Independence 118 units </li></ul><ul><li>HOPWA Tenant-based Rental Assistance 15 units </li></ul><ul><li> 600 units </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Tenants <ul><li>Homeless individuals and their families </li></ul><ul><li>Disabled by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Serious Mental Illness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chronic Alcohol and Drug Problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other disabilities, primarily mobility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PLWHA at-risk of becoming homeless </li></ul><ul><li>Very-low and no income ( at or below 50% AMI </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Landlords (and their agents) <ul><li>Private Rental Market Owners </li></ul><ul><li>Large Non-Profit Housing Developers/Operators </li></ul><ul><li>Property Management Companies </li></ul><ul><li>Small Non-Profit Housing Developers/Operators </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Profit Service Provider Agencies in the Housing Business </li></ul>
  5. 5. Liaison vs. Consumer Advocate <ul><li>Not always or necessarily conflicting roles </li></ul><ul><li>Can be complementary roles </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>somebody who coordinates communication between two or more people or groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link, Connection, Contact, Cooperation, Relationship, Association </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Relationships <ul><li>Based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rental Agreements/Leases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing Assistance Payments Contracts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing Sponsor/Provider Contracts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable statutes and regulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local e.g. building codes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>State e.g. tenant/landlord laws </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Federal e.g. S+C/SHP/HOPWA Regs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Relationships cont. <ul><li>Also based on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of the applicable statutes and regulations by landlord and liaison/advocate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives to support tenant’s housing stability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequences of non-support ; real or perceived </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goodwill and positive intent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment to a higher goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common sense </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Tenant Rights Are Important <ul><li>Housing Stability can improve when tenants and landlords and liaison/advocates know about tenant rights and landlord rights </li></ul><ul><li>Tenants may be limited by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They may not know how to be a tenant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are afraid of negative consequences </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1989 ( this is TA, not legal advice!) <ul><li>Federal civil rights law that protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in housing. broadened the definition of &quot;protected class&quot; to include individuals with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>It prohibits discrimination because of disability in the sale, rental or advertising of dwellings. </li></ul><ul><li>Requires public and private housing providers to modify policies and practices that deprive individuals with disabilities of their rights to enjoy and use their dwellings. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1989 (this is TA, not legal advice!) cont. <ul><li>Includes most privately and publicly owned housing, including housing subsidized by the federal government or rented under Section 8 HCV Program </li></ul>
  11. 11. Disability Defined <ul><li>The Fair Housing Act defines a person with a disability as an individual who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or has a record of an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment (regardless of whether that perception is accurate). It is not necessary that the disability be an obvious one. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Disability Defined (cont.) <ul><li>Disability is defined broadly and has been found to include such conditions as alcoholism and drug addiction but excludes individuals with current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance. Other specific exemptions, such as transvestitism, are listed in the Act. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Service Animals in Housing <ul><li>Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1989 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in housing; to be protected by the Fair Housing Act with regard to service animals, 3 tests must be met: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The person must have a disability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The animal must serve a function directly related to the person's disability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The request to have the service animal must be reasonable. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Pets in Elderly Housing <ul><li>HUD regulation, often referred to as the &quot;Pet Rule,&quot; enacted in 1986, revised in 1996 and again in 1999. </li></ul><ul><li>Applies to federally assisted rental housing designated exclusively for residency by those 62 years of age or older or people with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows all residents of most federally funded housing to have pets </li></ul>
  15. 15. Reasonable Accommodation <ul><li>Under the Fair Housing Act, </li></ul><ul><li>it unlawful for any person to refuse “to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford ...person(s) [with disabilities] equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reasonable Accommodation <ul><li>Owners must allow residents to make reasonable structural modifications to units and public/common areas in a dwelling when those modifications may be necessary for a person with a disability to have full enjoyment of a dwelling. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the responsibility of the person with the disability to request any necessary reasonable accommodations. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Back to Liaison vs. Advocate <ul><li>The liaison role is most effective when </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship is created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact is regular and ongoing (not problem-driven) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The explicit goal is WIN-WIN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent customer service is provided by the liaison </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent customer service is expected from the landlord </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. SUMMARY <ul><li>Housing stability is supported by the liaison and consumer advocate roles </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison and advocate can be complementary roles </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable accommodation may be a crucial stabilizer for homeless people with disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is power! </li></ul>
  19. 19. REFERENCES <ul><li>Public and Assisted Housing Occupancy Task Force, Report to Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Chapter 4 Reasonable Accommodation and Appendices 8-4 to 8-12, April 7, 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UNDER THE FAIR HOUSING ACT JOINT STATEMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, OFFICE OF FAIR HOUSING AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Service Animals & Housing Content contributed by: Tammi Bornstein, Attorney, and Susan L. Duncan, RN . The Delta Society Available from </li></ul><ul><li>Request for Reasonable Accommodation Forms, Housing Rights, Inc. Berkeley, CA. Available from </li></ul>
  20. 20. Contact Information: <ul><ul><li>Hazel Weiss, M.A., Co-Chair, National Shelter Plus Care Coalition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing and Community Development Manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>224 W. Winton Avenue, Room 108 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hayward, CA 94544 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(510) 670-5941 FAX (510)670-6378 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>