City of Phoenix trying to recruit more landlords for Section 8 housing voucher program

Starting this month, the voucher is now worth more--something city leaders hope will bring more landlords onboard.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:23 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A tough rental market is making it difficult for some Arizona families to pay all their bills. Some spend years on a waitlist for the federal government’s housing choice voucher program, but once they get picked, it can be hard to find a place to live.

“With the rental market in its current state, it’s very competitive for renters to secure affordable units, let alone for voucher holders to search for and secure rental units in this competitive market,” Elenia Sotelo with the Phoenix Housing Department said. In an effort to recruit more landlords, the Phoenix Housing Department is hosting an open house on Wednesday for current and perspective landlords.

“This provides an opportunity to get questions answered, learn more about the different aspects of participating in the housing choice voucher program as a property owner and speak directly with staff on various aspects of the program,” Sotelo said. The open house will take place at Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park on Wednesday anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The City of Phoenix is also incentivizing landlords. Starting this month, the voucher is now worth more--something city leaders hope will bring more landlords onboard. “We increased our payment standards to 110% of those fair market rents, and the payment standards are the maximum subsidy that can be paid on behalf of the family. So that drastically increases the amount of assistance that a family receives based on the bedroom size,” Sotelo said.

There’s a big sign-on bonus, too. Each landlord will get $2,000 when they lease to someone who has a voucher as long as they’re signing a 12-month deal. “So that further incentivizes our community property owners to engage with the program and lease to our voucher holders, and the incentive is per unit. Therefore, if a property owner has more than one rental property, they can be eligible for multiple incentive programs,” Sotelo said.

Right now, more than 500 people in Phoenix have vouchers and are still looking for a place to live. The City of Phoenix used to give people 60 days to find a place once they are granted a voucher. That number has now jumped to 180 days, because of the recent struggle to find landlords who will accept the voucher.