What is the Arlington Landlord Partnership?
The Arlington Landlord Partnership (ALP) consists of the Arlington County Housing Assistance Bureau, Arlington human services nonprofit agencies, local landlords and property managers. The goal of the ALP is to increase the availability of rental housing for homeless individuals and families with high leasing barriers. Such leasing barriers often include poor credit, evictions and criminal history.
ALP provides incentives to local landlords to lower their screening criteria, which has typically screened out many homeless individuals and families. As part of the ALP, Housing Assistance Bureau and Arlington nonprofit homeless service providers commit to:
- Guaranteed response to landlord concerns within two business days
- Case management, including home visits for tenants enrolled in the Rapid Re‐Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing Programs
- Facilitated communication by case managers between landlords and tenants to help resolve crises or conflicts that may jeopardize housing stability
- Eviction prevention assistance for eligible clients if they encounter financial difficulties (provided through Arlington County Homelessness Prevention funding)
- Access to a Risk Reduction Fund for either damages or lost rent. Landlords can make a claim up to $3,000.
The ALP was created in early 2014 by the Housing Committee of the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Arlington. ALP members, consisting of landlords and homeless service providers, discussed reasons why homeless individuals and families were unable to secure housing. Reasons identified included poor credit, poor rental history and criminal backgrounds.
ALP members researched other communities’ work regarding housing high-barrier individuals and families. One program the members researched was particularly innovative and provided a template upon which a similar program in Arlington might be modeled: the Landlord Liaison Project in Seattle, WA.
Whom does the ALP serve?
Program participants are homeless individuals and families with high housing barriers who are part of Arlington County Permanent Supportive Housing or Rapid Rehousing Programs.
What does the Risk Reduction Fund cover?
The ALP Risk Reduction Fund is an incentive for landlords to rent to clients participating in supportive housing programs run by ALP-participating agencies. The fund provides participating landlords with up to $3,000 of financial coverage if the client vacates the unit and leaves unpaid rent or damages beyond normal wear and tear.
How do landlords access the Risk Reduction Fund?
To make a claim, landlords must submit documentation of the date the tenant vacated the unit, efforts to re-rent the unit since it was vacated, and date unit was re-rented. The landlord must also deduct from the claim any applicable payments, deposits, fees etc. The ALP Coordinating Committee will verify the claim and if confirmed, will submit the claim for payment.
Who are the current partners?
- Landlord Partners: AHC Management, Inc., Paradigm Management, Inc., Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. ALP continues to recruit landlord as ALP partners.
- Service Partners: Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN), Bridges to Independence (B2I), Doorways for Women and Families, Friends of Guest House, Arlington County Permanent Supportive Housing Program.
What are the expectations regarding alternate screening criteria?
Participating landlords have agreed to the following alternate screening criteria:
Prior tenancy history
- Generally, allow for prior evictions.
- Applicant with a prior eviction needs to have a written agreement with the former landlord to repay past debt or proof that the debt has been paid.
- Generally, credit history will be waived.
- Certain convictions will constitute an automatic denial of an applicant. This includes: sex-related offenses, inclusion in the sex-offender registry, arson, homicide, or kidnapping/abduction.
- Do not deny tenancy for misdemeanor convictions.
- Prior felony convictions will be examined over a time frame of 1-10 years depending on the type and severity of conviction. Landlords have some latitude to adjust the recommended alternate screening criteria