Landlords Opening Doors struggles to give housing to homeless people

A program meant to give homeless people housing is struggling despite strong support from metro Denver governments.

Attorney Jason Flores-Williams (right) speaks with Tony Jackson. "Homeless sweeps" on Nov. 15, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)homeless; sweeps; denver rescue mission; police; justice; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Attorney Jason Flores-Williams (right) speaks with Tony Jackson. "Homeless sweeps" on Nov. 15, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) homeless; sweeps; denver rescue mission; police; justice; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Attorney Jason Flores-Williams (right) speaks with Tony Jackson. “Homeless sweeps” on Nov. 15, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A program meant to give homeless people housing — and therefore a chance to stabilize  — is struggling despite more than $70,000 in support from metro Denver governments, the Denver Post reports.

Landlords Opening Doors two years ago began recruiting landlords who were willing to set aside housing units for homeless people with vouchers. So far, only 50 units are now housing participants.

The problem isn’t a lack of willingness from landlords. Pat Noonan, a landlord recruitment specialist with Brothers Redevelopment, told the Post’s Aldo Svaldi that about 340 landlords have expressed an interest and made 149 units available.

And they have plenty of incentive. The program offers landlords a $200 signing bonus and funds for repairs, not to mention a tenant who’s ready to move in right away and another to move in as soon as that one moves out.

You can probably guess what the real problem is. The rent is too damn high.

Even after an annual adjustment, the federal government-provided rental vouchers aren’t enough. They’re anywhere from $50 to $200 short of market rate.

There are also logistical issues. A homeless person might need a one bedroom apartment when only larger units are available, for instance, or need a home in a city where none are available.

 

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.