Should I rent to homeless person under Homeless Incentive Proram?

3 Replies

I have a small studio apartment about 250 sf with kitchen and bath which is vacant recently.  In the past, It would take about two months to rent it out due to the small size.  So I listed under Social Serve which is a government housing website.  I want to try to rent it to someone with section 8 voucher. Some organization contacted me and see if I would rent it to a homeless person under different programs such as section 8.  The rent amount they offer is quite tempting and since I always have a difficult time to rent it out, I have been thinking about it seriously.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

Stick with Section 8. You advertise on Go Section 8 and the tenants will come find you,....in droves. Stay away from a "temporary" program that says they will fund the rent for 4 months or 6 months....no matter how "profitable" they make it seem because once the money runs out and that tenant tells you they can't pay the rent you will have a HARD time evicting them....especially here in California. 

Every time we have a 1-2 bedroom apartment and it goes on section 8's website(SoCal) we get 20-40 calls within 48 hours. 1/3rd of them are from homeless programs. Section 8 inspectors have told me off the record to NEVER let them in. Why not just rent it out to someone who has section 8 but not referred through a program that works with homeless people? Basically, you are doing your due diligence and finding the best tenant for your property. 1 bedroom units are the hardest to find for section 8 voucher holders and I believe there are over 19,000 voucher holders in SoCal. Find someone who works or makes 3x the rent(their portion). If you're renting it out for $1k  month and their portion is $300, make sure they have at least $1k per month in benefits/ income.  Do not accept anything from organizations that claim they'll pay the tenant's rent for 6 months or 9 months then after that they're on their own. Also, maximize the security deposit. 

We have tenants that pay only $7/ month and section 8 pays $1141. Main thing is only allow one person in. 250 sq ft may seem small but it is plenty for a lot of people. I believe that is the future of housing for hundreds of thousands. 

Thank you for your valuable advice, I had a few homeless persons and regular section 8 people came, the section 8 people don't want it because they have the one bedroom voucher, and they don't want studio apartment. Then the homeless ones didn't impress me. Some of them smokes, turning on appliances and air condition. They acted like they had already rented the place. I just didn't like their manners. I rented to someone who is a regular tenant.