Case Study

Combatting Homelessness: An Incentive-Based Approach

Los Angeles County, Calif.

Los Angeles County is in the middle of a homeless crisis. In fact, the number of homeless persons reported living on the streets has risen to over 46,000, increasing by 6% since 2015. In an effort to reduce these numbers and address issues such as low vacancy rates and high rental prices, and other barriers unique to the homeless population, the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA) has implemented the Landlord Veteran Incentive Program (VIP), and the Homeless Incentive Program (HIP). VIP and HIP have given landlords the extra push to rent vacant units to the homeless population by offering program components that help families compete against the tight rental housing market and non-subsidized renters. HIP and VIP assists families in two major ways. First, landlords receive one month’s free rent to hold their unit and consider accepting a family with a voucher. The owner may even receive funds when the family moves out, to prepare the unit for the next rental. Secondly, HIP provides the family with a listing of available units, preparation for the rental process, transportation to visit units, and financial assistance to cover the security deposit, utilities, and other move in costs. In just over one year, HACoLA has yielded amazing results from HIP and VIP. To date, HACoLA has housed 512 homeless families and individuals, and provided almost $1.8 million in incentive payments to owners and financial assistance to individuals and families.

Contact: 
Ms. Debra Solis 
Legislative Analyst

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