I have a rental available and was contacted by a New Jersey (NJ) organization called Bridgeway Community Partners in Mental Health aka Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services.
It sounds like they send out their own inspector to ensure habitability of the property and then they pay for security deposit and monthly rent until tenant gets on their feet. If tenant is unemployed, they pay the full rent. If tenant is employed, depending on what their income is, the organization pays a percentage and the tenant pays the remaining balance.
I never heard of the group before and just wanted to get some potential insight from the community.
PS-Any idea how to turn on the "Notify me when a reply is posted" button? For some reason, the site wont let me click it.
I am not in Pennsylvania, and have never heard of this particular program. I am, however, married to a man who worked in a Community Mental Health Center for 40 years. His agency had programs like this that would come and go depending upon funding. The general pattern is that 1) the state has an incentive to close beds at the state hospital in order to save money, 2) a new program (usually associated with a university) is written about in the research journals that purports to save money and have great outcomes for the clients 3) the state wants the local mental health agencies to start this program, but the state does not provide the budget to adequately staff and resource the program like the university did 4) the program is instituted with great fanfare and many promises. There is usually a glowing story written about the new program in the local newspapers. 5) the program limps along with inadequate resources and poor outcomes. Landlords start dropping out, then there is a scandal when there is a murder, or suicide among the poorly supervised mental health clientele. 6) the program quietly dies, the patients go back to the state hospital. A few years later, a new program is written about in the research journals, and the cycle starts again.
My husband was particularly incensed at the bureaucrats insistence that the chronically mentally ill are employable. A "good outcome" is having them stay on their meds and keep out of the hospital; expecting them to be employed and self supporting is unrealistic.
I would not participate in this program unless my lease was with the (sue-able) mental health center -- not the client. Expect high levels of property filth and damage. Have regular inspections written into the lease with damages paid by the agency -- let them try to collect from the client. Use an attorney and make sure your are protected if the client never is able to sustain employment. Make the agency responsible for eviction costs and for finding a new home for the client. Have hold-harmless language written into the lease to release you from liability if the client causes problems in the neighborhood. Be very well compensated for the extra risks and costs you will incur.
Thank you @Bettina F.
My wheels are turning even more now.
There are lots of organizations doing similar things. Harwood House, Hedwig House, Horizon House (yeah, the names, LOL).
I've called Horizon House in DelCo and MontCo each two times and left messages that were never returned, despite the "front desk" person telling me that they're always desperate for landlords.
Someone from Hedwig House contacted me from one of my listings, brought a prospective tenant to look at the unit, and said she'd take it. Then I completed their property approval form and e-mailed them some questions and didn't hear back from them for 2 weeks. And the person who finally contacted me was some inspector looking to evaluate the property. At that point the unit had long-since been leased to someone else.
So...great idea but so far a lousy batting average.
Hey @John D. ,
@Bettina F. hit it right on the nail the risk factor is really high and believe as a landlord, we all already have enough hurdles to overcome. I recommend you go the Section 8 route. This way you know the rent is consistent, to a certain level, despite what's going on with your tenant. I have a quad in West Philly now with all PHA aka Section 8 clients and it has worked out wonderfully for me.
@Charles McCabe also shared a great story! I too would have been rented my unit out vs waiting.
I was just reading @Bettina F. 's reply. All good info. I would add that in some cases (e.g. Hedwig House), the entire rent is being paid by the organization, and the lease is being signed by the organization in addition to the tenant, making them fully liable. That being said, many of the questions that I had e-mailed were around liability and I never did get a response, so your mileage may vary ; >