In an effort to address homelessness, Elk Grove City Council approves landlord incentive program

At last night's Elk Grove City Council meeting, a pilot plan called the Landlord Incentive Program was unanimously approved.

The new program will provide $200,000 for about 40 Elk Grove families to find housing primarily in Elk Grove. The funding comes from the city's $21.9 million grant from the American Rescue Plan Act.

During her report to the city council, Sarah Bontrager, the city's housing and public services manager, noted that homelessness is exasperated by the lack of adequate housing supply statewide. Bontrager said data they have compiled shows a zero vacancy rate in Elk Grove and that the tight supply has increased rental rates during the COVID-19 pandemic by about 30-percent. 

To encourage landlords to rent to tenants with credit or other challenges, they will be offered $4,500 for the first participant they accept and $1,500 for each additional renter. A $500 incentive is available for property managers and real estate agents for referrals.

Landlords eligible would be those who offer housing to the homeless in Elk Grove and those who possess Housing Choice Vouchers. Affordable housing complexes and non-residential properties cannot participate. 

"We expect it would be used primarily on apartments and single-family homes, but duplexes and condos would also be eligible," Bontrager said.  

Although the vouchers will target placement in Elk Grove, the assistance can be used anywhere in Sacramento County. Units must pass a basic health and safety inspection.

The city will partner with Sacramento Self Help Housing who will provide tenants will grants to cover moving costs. Additionally, Elk Grove Housing Assistance Resource Team will assist renters with application fees. 

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