City of Amarillo looking for new landlords for Housing Choice Voucher Program

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:31 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo is looking for new landlords to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program.

This program was formerly known as the Section 8 or HUD Housing Program.

It assists low to moderate income individuals with rent to help them maintain and get into housing.

The City says right now there is a strong need to get new landlords involved in the program.

Many people have the vouchers, but it’s a matter of finding a place to live.

They are able to help 1200 to 1500 households with the current vouchers they have.

“If we don’t have enough places for our people to rent, then we’re not able to get that the number of vouchers issued up to a certain level and then what that looks like to HUD is they’re like ‘Okay, well you’re not issuing those vouchers, then you must not need them’ and so what can end up happening is we start to lose the number of vouchers that are given to our community,” said Jason Riddlespurger, director of community development at City of Amarillo.

These vouchers help get people off the streets, but even if they have the vouchers without a place to live they could expire.

“When that voucher does expire, the families can lose their housing assistance, and or some families may be staying out on the streets, some are homeless, so they’ll have to keep couch surfing or you know, hopefully not living outside, but unfortunately that does happen,” said Nina Martinez, housing manager at City of Amarillo

There are benefits for landlords who choose to participate in this program, which include:

  • Guaranteed rental payments: 70 percent of the rent is paid on the same date each month, ensuring a constant monthly income.
  • Reduced vacancy rate: The waiting list is always full, so landlords are unlikely to have an issue renting property through the program.
  • Free advertising: The Amarillo Public Housing Authority makes sure each rental property is well promoted and reaches those looking for housing.
  • Future tenants undergo background screenings: A screening process is used checking criminal record, income, employment and eviction history of future tenants.
  • Long-term tenants: For a typical U.S. renter length-of-stay is usually between 2 to 3 years, but tenants with HCV stay in a unit for an average of 6.6 years.

The City believes the rental property is out there, but they just need to find people willing to work with them.

“We just need to have partners in the community and the landlord partners, so that they’ll work with us that work with our clients, they’re good clients and we want to we want to make that connection and, so that’s why we’re putting this plea out to the public to help us find those landlords that our clients are desperately looking for,” said Riddlespurger.

Landlords who are interested in getting involved in this program can call the office at (806) 378-3098 and ask for Nina Martinez and they will help you step-by-step.

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