Signing Bonuses To Landlords Who Accept Section 8 Vouchers 


Nearly half of Los Angeles residents who have Federal Section 8 housing vouchers will see their voucher expire before finding a landlord willing to rent to them during the 180 day period. When Section 8 voucher holders cannot find housing, they are seriously at risk of becoming homeless. 

Currently, County Measure H dollars fund the Homeless Incentive Program which has been extremely successful in encouraging private landlords to accept vouchers belonging to homeless individuals, housing over 2,000 individuals so far. This money, however, does not apply to low-income individuals with vouchers who are housed but at risk of homelessness.

Landlords are now prohibited from issuing blanket denials against voucher holders due to the City's Source of Income Discrimination Ordinance and the State of California's similar anti-housing discrimination law enacted through Senate Bill 329. These laws will help keep voucher holders from falling into homelessness. 

In addition to these prohibitions, the City should take further steps to accelerate the widespread acceptance of housing vouchers. Unfortunately, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is prevented from using federal dollars for landlord incentives. 

Given the Federal funding restrictions, the City should use a portion of the State's Homeless, Housing, Assistance and Prevention program grant funds that are designed to support preemptive programs to prevent individuals from falling into homelessness. Specifically, HACLA should provide signing bonuses to landlords who accept low-income residents with Section 8 vouchers. The program should be resourced to provide 1,000 signing bonuses to participating landlords, each in the amount of $1,000. 

I THEREFORE MOVE that Council Instruct the City Administrative Officer and the Chief Legislative Analyst to submit to the Homeless Strategy Committee a request of approximately $1,000,000 from the State's pending Homeless, Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program grant for signing bonuses to landlords who accept Section 8 vouchers for low-income individuals at-risk of homelessness Citywide.

Presented by: 
Councilmember, 2nd District