LOS ANGELES (CNS) - People Assisting the Homeless, among the state's largest nonprofits working to end homelessness, announced today that it has received nearly $1 million in grants to increase awareness of its Los Angeles-based LeaseUp program.
LeaseUp -- launched three years ago with the support of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority -- enables property owners with vacant units to connect with service providers like PATH and with prospective renters. The program helps transition formerly homeless people into vacant units, benefiting renters and owners alike. Since 2018, LeaseUp said it has secured more than 4,000 units of subsidized rental units from more than 600 property owners and managers for Angelenos either experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
An outreach campaign last November and December helped Los Angeles property owners add 951 available and vacant units to the program, many from repeat customers choosing to add more of their units in recognition of the program's value, according to PATH.
“This is a classic case of `doing good by doing well','' said Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH. “The landlords who already participate in this program are receiving market rates with government guarantees. The renters who are moving into these apartments are finding a place they can call home that they've badly wanted and needed.''
The LeaseUp program is “a promising tool for county residents and stakeholders facing financial uncertainty,'' said L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis.
“This unprecedented global pandemic requires unprecedented actions to protect people experiencing homelessness, as well as provide support for struggling landlords,'' she said. “I thank our philanthropic partners for working diligently with the county to fund innovative win-win solutions.''
As part of the program, owners and managers have access to a free online portal where they can share their listing with case managers, who can then match the unit with a rent-stable client in need of housing. After a client is moved in, case managers regularly conduct on-site check-ins, and provide 24/7 support for property owners and managers.
LeaseUp also offers property owners holding fees and protection against damages, as well as vacancy loss funds in case a client match falls through. The program provides an easy-to-use platform to optimize the supply/demand matrix of affordable housing. In addition to the current Board of Supervisors, now-Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was a crucial supporter of LeaseUp during his tenure on the board.
“We need housing that is safe and affordable for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,'' said Antonia Hernandez, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation. “For Los Angeles to thrive, Angelenos need housing they can afford and the opportunity to succeed in their lives.''
In the midst of the pandemic, getting homeless county residents into permanent housing is a life-saving mission. LeaseUp is a vital part of the landlord engagement process in the COVID Recovery Plan to house thousands of COVID vulnerable people without shelter, including those transitioning out of interim housing through Project Roomkey.
“L.A. County is proud to partner with PATH to expand its successful LeaseUp campaign,'' L.A. County Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell said. “Given our dire shortage of affordable housing, we must seize every opportunity to reach out to prospective landlords and make it easy for them to unlock the potential of their vacant properties to house some of their most vulnerable neighbors.''
Property owners and service providers interested in participating in LeaseUp can learn more and sign up at www.leaseupla.org.
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