LANDLORD INCENTIVE PROGRAM CONTINUES IN 2022
Jan 13, 2022
352 AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS WERE MADE AVAILABLE IN 2021
Today MaineHousing is announcing it will make up to $750,000 in funding from the state Housing Opportunity for Maine (HOME) Fund available to continue its partnership with the state’s public housing authorities for its statewide Landlord Participation Incentive Program.
The program provides participating landlords with up to a $750 signing bonus for each unit they place in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which provides rental assistance to income-eligible tenants by paying a portion of their monthly rent and utilities directly to their landlord.
The incentive program can also provide eligible applicants and landlords funding for security deposits on rental units as well covering the costs of repairs and damages. It is run in partnership with the Maine Association of Public Housing Directors (MAPHD).
It is estimated that 352 units of affordable housing were made available to HCV tenants because of the program since it was last funded with $380,000 of HCV Program Administrative Fees from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in September of 2021.
The program also covered the security deposits on 238 units of housing and paid for more than $120,000 in repairs for 70 rental units in 2021.
“We are grateful to Maine’s Public Housing Authorities for their work and their partnership,” MaineHousing Director Daniel Brennan said. “We all know that landlords are a critical component to providing affordable housing, and these incentive programs have succeeded in helping Maine renters find safe, decent, affordable housing throughout the entire state.”
The program is meant to encourage private landlords to participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Programs.
MaineHousing, which is the public housing authority for municipalities in Maine without their own PHA, has successfully run a similar program. Brennan noted that this helps “level the playing field” across the state.
“This program has been a success from Kittery to Fort Kent and has resulted in more than 300 successful new Housing Choice Voucher lease-ups,” said Jennifer Sweetser, president of the MAPHD and the executive director of the Presque Isle Housing Authority. “The availability of a leasing bonus has attracted new landlords to the program and has incentivized other landlords to notify us when they have vacant units.”
Sweetser said a key factor in the success of this program it works in all communities in Maine. “Renewal of the program allows housing authorities across the state to overcome barriers, such as lack of units, lack of funds for security deposits, and landlord skepticism of the Housing Choice Voucher program,” Sweetser said. “We have been able to foster relationships with landlords in support of our subsidy programs as a result of these financial incentives.”
Beyond the $750 signing bonus for landlords who lease a unit to an HCV recipient, grant funds to fix items that fail the federally-required unit inspection standards, and grant funds to help fix damage caused by an HCV recipient are available through the program.
MaineHousing has helped Maine people own, rent, repair, and heat their homes since 1969. MaineHousing is an independent state authority created to address the problems of unsafe, unsuitable, overcrowded, and unaffordable housing. MaineHousing is a $2.1 billion financial institution with a staff of over 190 people. MaineHousing assists more than 90,000 Maine households and invests more than $300 million in the Maine economy annually.
The Maine Association of Public Housing Directors consists of Public Housing Executive Directors throughout the State of Maine. Membership covers twenty local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) from Sanford to Fort Fairfield.