What specifically are you asking of landlords?
We are asking for landlords to be flexible on some of their tenant selection criteria in order to help those in our community who are experiencing homelessness. Many of our clients have some income but cannot meet the typical income requirements of 2-3x the rent. They may also have less than perfect credit and rental history. However, we offset these barriers by providing rental assistance directly to you while we assist our clients with increasing their income and learning good tenant practices through intense case management services.
Isn’t it against Fair Housing if I adjust my tenant selection criteria for ForKids clients?
No. Relaxing your policies surrounding evictions, credit score, income, etc., does not violate fair housing laws if housing determinations are not made based on race, sex, age, disability, color, creed, or national origin, religion, or familial status. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, source of income is also protected under fair housing. It is not a violation of fair housing to give preference to one applicant over another based on their participation in a RRH program, even if that applicant has a less favorable rental application than other applicants.
What is the difference between the assistance ForKids provides and Section 8?
ForKids uses Rapid Rehousing (RRH) funds to assist people experiencing homelessness in securing permanent housing. Our RRH assistance is short-term, to allow our clients to get back on their feet and be able to self-sustain when our assistance ends. Section 8 is a long-term voucher program for low-income families to offset the high cost of rent and is administered through public housing authorities. People with Section 8 vouchers pay 30% of their income towards the rent, and the voucher covers the rest.
How long will ForKids pay rent?
Rental assistance depends on several factors including program limitations and client needs. ForKids utilizes state and federal housing funding as well as private funding to provide rent assistance. Assistance is negotiated with landlords depending on what funding source the client’s program is using. We also consider our clients’ current barriers to finding housing. A client with full-time employment may receive assistance for a shorter period than a client with no employment or other higher barriers. Every client is different, therefore amounts of assistance we offer will vary.
What will happen when the ForKids assistance ends?
Throughout the time that ForKids is providing rent assistance, a case manager will be working with your tenant to increase their income and connect to any resources that will allow them to be self-sufficient after our assistance ends. In the case that the tenant is still truly in need and has been engaged with the program, the case manager may be able to extend the rental assistance. Ultimately, we provide short-term assistance to support our clients while they work to maintain permanent housing on their own. Many times, we find that our clients have income but have fallen into homelessness circumstantially, and simply need help with move-in costs or short-term assistance while they get back on their feet.
Whose name will the lease be in and does ForKids have their own lease?
The lease will be in the tenant’s name and using your paperwork. The entire leasing process is no different than leasing to any other tenant, with the exception that ForKids provides temporary assistance and the unit must pass an inspection. ForKids does have our own paperwork to meet grant requirements as well as a contract between ForKids and the landlord that is in effect while you are receiving payments from ForKids.
When/how will I get paid?
Landlords will receive their rent checks from ForKids mailed to the address on your W9 by the first of the month. If your tenant is paying a portion of their rent as well, your tenant will pay you according to the policy in your lease.
What do I do if I have an issue with the tenant?
Call us! If you experience issues with your tenant, please notify the program manager for your client, whose information can be found on the Landlord-Tenant-Program Manager Agreement signed at lease signing. We are here to help mediate any issues. Despite our best efforts, sometimes a tenant may not work out. In this case, we always have clients in need of housing who can fill their spot.