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A new Johnson County program gives landlords reasons to accept housing choice vouchers

A "now leasing" sign sits in front of a string of residential rental properties
Blaise Mesa
Kansas News Service
Landlords are often hesitant to accept tenants who use housing vouchers.

The program will provide landlords with a bonus and access to a damage claim fund when they take on a tenant using federal housing assistance. The bonus is a one-time amount equivalent to two months' rent.

Housing choice vouchers, also known as Section 8 vouchers, help people in need find affordable housing. But landlords often won't accept them, saying they don't want to fill out the paperwork or are worried that tenants will damage their units.

A new program in Johnson County aims to increase the number of landlords who do take vouchers by offering incentives to do so. Landlords who take on such a tenant will gain access to a damage claim fund and receive a one-time bonus equivalent to two times a unit's rent.

"I was kind of debating whether I want to do market rate or use a housing choice voucher," said Grant Preston, a landlord in Johnson County participating in the program. "With this incentive, it really was the determining factor."

Jessa Molina, the landlord recruiter for Johnson County, said 13 landlords have joined the program since it launched in July. Ten of those had never rented to tenants with vouchers before.

  • Jessa Molina, landlord recruiter for Johnson County
  • Grant Preston, landlord in Johnson County
  • Stephanie Winn, Johnson County housing case manager for Metro Lutheran Ministries
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