Another advantage of employing Housing Workers is that they are able to dedicate time and energy to building extensive connections and networks with landlords to help house youth quickly. Building these partnerships is a key to helping increase the availability of housing for youth.
Part of this work is educating a landlord about the misconceptions they may hold about homeless youth and social assistance. Landlords may not understand the benefits of accepting a youth on a rent supplement, housing allowance or who is receiving social assistance – primarily that in most cases it is a form of guaranteed income that is not lost unless the youth gains employment or other positive things occur in their lives.
CHT and CHV work to create partnerships with landlords wherein everyone wins – agency, landlord and youth. One component is ensuring that a landlord knows that the agency understands that the landlord is trying to make money; that housing is a business for them. Letting landlords know that the agency is going to be involved with the youth helping them transition into housing and can be called upon to help address problems reassure landlords that there is a reduced risk at play for them.
Homeless Hub Thoughts:
Housing Workers need to be clear in their agreements with landlords. They cannot promise perfect behaviour by a young person or guarantee that there will never be a problem with rent. They can explain the ways in which the agency will support the youth, and in turn, the landlord.
Housing workers should educate landlords about homeless youth to help reduce misconceptions. This may also involve education about social assistance programs.
Creating a network of landlords who are willing to house homeless youth is important. Provide resources and information opportunities for landlords. Landlords should also be informed that youth have been educated about landlord-tenant legislation and know responsibilities and also their rights.