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Friday, May 22, 2020

BHA offers private landlords one month’s rent to house voucher families during COVID-19


BHA offers private landlords one month’s rent to house voucher families during COVID-19
More than 400 BHA voucher families are still in shelter searching for an available apartment

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) is offering landlords a one month’s rent bonus incentive when landlords lease to a BHA voucher family in a Boston apartment. This is part of an effort to house hundreds of families who are homeless and searching for a permanent home with their BHA voucher.  Many of these homeless families include children enrolled in Boston Public Schools. 

This new financial bonus, which was made possible through federal stimulus funding through the CARES Act, incentivizes landlords who lease to homeless families and individuals with a BHA voucher.
When a family receives a voucher, they still need to find an apartment in the private rental market where they can live. This can sometimes be a challenge, especially for families who are currently homeless. The COVID-19 public health emergency has brought new urgency to efforts to reduce overcrowding in the city’s homeless shelters as the city works to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 among our homeless population.

“It is our hope that this new incentive for landlords will help get some of our most vulnerable families into the good homes they deserve,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “This is a win-win that will benefit landlords and tenants alike. I ask our city’s landlords to seize this opportunity and lease a home to our families in need at this critical moment.”
Last year, BHA changed its Fair Market Rents formula to enable voucher families to afford rents in virtually every zip code in the city and in greater Boston. Housing Choice Vouchers are guaranteed by the Federal government, and are pegged to the voucher holder’s income. They’re a reliable source of rent at a time when many Boston residents face losses in income and financial stability.
“This is a good deal for landlords, and it will have a real impact on the wellbeing of our voucher families, our neighbors, and our city,” BHA Administrator Kate Bennett said. “When landlords make apartments available to voucher families, they are changing lives, they’re making our city safer, and they’re helping themselves secure a recession-proof source of rental income.”
Property owners interested in making their housing units available to BHA voucher families can list them at www.bostonhousing.org/helpfamilies.  For more information, please contact Thomas White at Thomas.White@bostonhousing.org or 617‐988‐4540.

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