The new Landlord Liaison Program, offered by Transition House, provides Santa Barbara County Landlords extensive financial safeguards and support systems to house mainly homeless veterans and children (of non-veteran families) that are ready to be successful tenants.
The Landlord Liaison Partnership
The Landlord Liaison Partnership (LLP) is a collaboration among landlords, property managers, social service agencies and homeless people with barriers to accessing permanent housing. The goal of LLP is to offer homeless veterans, families and others who were previously denied by landlords help with accessing permanent housing. LLP only works with clients that are ready to be successfully housed.
Participating landlords agree to provide alternative screening criteria to applicants and in exchange ongoing support including a 24/7 hotline and risk reduction funds. Tenants are connected to ongoing case management from social service agencies to further insure a successful tenancy.
The idea for LLP began in Seattle in 2009 as the Landlord Liaison Project. Landlords participated in the development of the program and more than 5,000 homeless people have been housed in privately owned units as of June, 2015. The program has been acknowledged as a National Best Practices Housing Program for the Homeless by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Numerous communities have replicated parts of Seattle’s program but Santa Barbara County is believed to be the first to implement the full program.
Partnering with Landlords
Santa Barbara County landlords have truly been partners in developing LLP in the Santa Barbara County area. Their feedback helped drive the strategy of primarily focusing on homeless veterans. Feedback that we heard in the community, especially in North County, helped form our second focus on homeless children and families. Extremely low vacancy rates and relatively high rental unit prices made it essential that we only offer this program to homeless people that are ready or very near ready to be successfully housed.
Broad Community Support
In addition to area landlords, the planning and development of LLP in Santa Barbara County has been a community-wide effort. Most notably, Transition House has generously offered to be the Fiscal Agent and house the program. City and County officials have been kept appraised of LLP’s development and have lent their encouragement and support.
The following organizations played a large role in LLP’s development: The City of Santa Barbara Housing Authority, The County of Santa Barbara Housing Authority, The Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness (C3H), Social Venture Partners, New Beginnings, Good Samaritan, PATH, Transitions Mental Health Association, The Remediation Task Force, Legal Aid and California Rural Legal Assistance.
Solid Financial Backing
LLP would not be possible without the generous support of the City of Santa Barbara Housing Authority, the County of Santa Barbara Housing Authority, the Ann Jackson Foundation, Social Venture Partners and numerous individuals.