Reno Housing Authority looking for landlords to join voucher program

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:35 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Reno Housing Authority is in need of landlords in Washoe County as demand only increases for affordable housing.

On Wednesday, the RHA held its first monthly meeting for interested landlords since the start of the pandemic as they aim to increase the amount of properties that are part of the Housing Choice Voucher program, in which qualified low-income residents receive rental assistance from the RHA.

“We’re happy to have a landlord with an individual property - even a small studio - up to large apartment complexes who have maybe never taken the voucher,” said Jamie Newfelt, the RHA’s Director of Rental Assistance. “Every unit we add is a wonderful benefit to the community.”

Low-income residents must qualify for the program (previously known as Section 8) and maintain certain requirements in order to receive rental assistance from RHA. Newfelt says landlords renting their properties should have peace of mind knowing there will be consistent payment and routine checks on the home.

“There has been a negative perception of the voucher program,” said Newfelt. “We’ve been doing a lot of work to combat that.”

Newfelt adds right now less than three percent of rental units in Washoe County are vacant, with an even smaller amount feasible for families not making a lot of money. Once a voucher is acquired, residents have six months to find a rental before losing it.

There are currently 200 people with vouchers in search of a place, with another 4,000 waiting to start the process of acquiring a voucher.

“We have families who have waited to receive this voucher sometimes for years,” said Newfelt. “If they can’t find a landlord to rent to them, they’re at risk of losing that voucher through no fault of their own.”

The new landlord briefings will take place at 1:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month in a virtual platform. Those interested can always connect by visiting renoha.org or stopping by at 1525 E 9th St in Reno.

“The tenants we have are fantastic and take good care of the unit,” said Newfelt. “They really just want to be able to secure that wonderful place to live.”

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