State program for homeless teens as tenants?

4 Replies

We received an inquiry on one of our rental properties from an agent. He said he represented a non-profit organization who is partnered with the state to provide housing for homeless teens. The state would pay the rent, commit to a 3-year lease and cover any repairs under $500. There would be up to 2 teens per bedrooms (so 6 teens in a 3br house), and an adult social worker would be there to supervise 24/7. 

Has anyone ever rented to such a program? Thoughts on pros/cons? Six teens is a lot in one house, but they would have full-time adult supervision. This is through the Department of Family & Children Services, not Dept of Corrections. So sounds like abandoned kids, not juvenile criminals. 

This sounds like the exact same charity we work with but for confidentiality reasons we will not say there name, but I assume that this is a Christian organization that helps refugees?  This particular program you are discussing deals with graduates of the program if I am not mistaken and they get a living stipend for 6-18 months after graduating from program.  My experience with this program has not been good but have done other programs with non-profit organization that have been very successful.  Positives are they pay above market rent because they realize that it may be difficult to deal with teenagers and evicting them could be a PR nightmare, and banks love seeing reputable organizations on a 3 year lease.  Most banks will count the full rent because of the 3 year contract.  One thing you do have to worry about is they normally have an out clause if they lose federal funding where they can cancel with 60-90 days notice.  I would definitely consider it but make sure you check with local laws as it could be considered a boarding home with that many unrelated persons  living together.  We would definitely place these tenants with our investors in the right circumstance.

No, not a Christian organization and not refugees. Sounds like you’re talking about something else entirely. 

I would be wary due to not being able to collect from a minor (assuming they are minors and not 18 or 19).

I know in NJ, once foster kids reach a certain age, instead of looking for housing they will try to help them transition to adulthood by giving them monthly stipends and having them live in a house with a govt employee who helps them  and teaches them. Kind of a halfway house scenario, but for foster kids instead of addicts. This is what that sounds like to me.

From a business viewpoint, your rent will be backed by your state government, but I can see 6 teens doing serious wear and tear, especially since many kids who have come from the foster system are not always outstanding citizens yet. I would only consider this if the property is not very high end. Your home will likely take a beating for awhile.

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