Landlords explain why families with vouchers should not be turned away

Landlords who have worked with housing voucher recipients say they have had good experiences with the program, our columnist writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ailsa Hayes has been a property manager at Country Meadows Residences since 2022. Prior to her current position, the residential complex was already accepting prospective tenants who used Housing Choice Vouchers to find rentals in the private market. As the former director of the HCV program in Talladega, Alabama – a town of about 15,000 located an hour east of Birmingham on Interstate 20 – Hayes was happy to learn that Country Meadows was providing decent, safe and hygienic housing for families in need. .

Accommodation refused

Income discrimination in Manhattan, Kansas, rentals.

Now serving as an owner, Hayes has professional experience with the voucher program in both the public and private sectors. Speaking from both perspectives, Hayes shared a positive assessment of the program.

“I think it’s a good program,” she said. “The program guarantees us our payment and if we have any problems, we just contact each other.”

Hayes said when potential tenants with vouchers apply to Country Meadows, she is able to conduct the standard screening process applied to all residents. In addition, all of its current VHC tenants pay the full market rent for their accommodation.

“We’ve been very fortunate with our overall rent collection with everyone,” she said.

When asked why other homeowners should participate in the HCV program, Hayes emphasized the importance of helping neighbors in need.

“Having a title doesn’t make them a good or bad resident,” she said. “…The voucher program is like giving a helping hand to someone in need, to get them to a point where they can do it on their own. »

Nan Malott is a property manager at Birchwood Villas, which is owned by Wilhoit Properties in Springfield, Missouri. Birchwood Villas is a senior living complex, housing those over 55 years of age. Malott also manages a second property for Wilhoit in Manhattan. Voucher tenants are welcome at both locations.

As a senior apartment property manager, Malott is grateful for how the VHC program helps her tenants find good housing.

“I’m a big believer in the housing voucher program because I see so many people who couldn’t afford to live anywhere, much less decent housing, without housing vouchers,” Malott said. “Many elderly people with limited income could not afford (housing) on ​​their own.”

Malott also addressed the stigma surrounding HCV tenants.

“For the most part, people who have housing vouchers are better (renters) than people without housing vouchers,” she said. “They are aware that they are receiving help, they appreciate it and want to be sure they don’t lose their voucher.”

Malott is also grateful for the quality of service she receives from the Manhattan Housing Authority, such as the speed…

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