Owners/Managers Creating Opportunity
The Owners/Managers Creating Opportunity project is a strategic effort of the Family Housing Fund to increase landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program across the seven-county metropolitan area, especially in areas with low rates of poverty and high quality schools, in order to expand housing choice for low-income and working families. The Housing Choice Voucher program is one of the federal government’s major initiatives to serve very low-income families and is one of the more flexible resources communities have to meet unique affordable housing needs in their jurisdictions. The Owners/Managers Creating Opportunity project addresses a critical bottleneck in the complex process of a family utilizing a voucher: finding an owner of a unit that fits their needs that will accept it.
As a housing intermediary, and not a regulator or competitor of rental property owners, the Family Housing Fund is well positioned to implement the Owners/Managers Creating Opportunity project, which aligns with the Family Housing Fund mission and Strategic Framework to support the affordable housing network to meet the needs of families in complex and changing conditions. While there is agreement that some private owners are not eager to accept rental vouchers, there has not been a region-wide systematic process to understand why or how owners/managers would like to engage with the program.
The initial phase of the Owners/Managers Creating Opportunity project, which took place from January to February 2016, consisted of a data collection process to understand the experience of larger owner/managers who operate properties in low poverty areas with the Housing Choice Voucher program. It also included conversations with public and private stakeholders to understand what is currently being done to educate owners, expand participation, and what gaps might be filled by the Owners/Managers Creating Opportunity project in Phase II. The project is not intended to replace or compete with current owner outreach and training efforts that agencies administering the Housing Choice Voucher programs may undertake. The Family Housing Fund’s goal is to collaborate with partners to fill gaps that will optimize the affordable housing network’s ability to meet the needs of families.