Through the program VHA provides a subsidy to participating landlords that reduces the tenant’s portion of rent, making rent more affordable
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Housing Authority is launching a rent buy down program to make more rentals available to low-income households in Clark County.
Through the program VHA provides a subsidy to participating landlords that reduces the tenant’s portion of rent, making rent more affordable. Tenants will receive assistance for a minimum of two years.
Executive Director Roy Johnson said the homegrown program allows the housing authority to impact more households in the community. Potential program participants will first be drawn from VHA’s existing waitlist.
“The purpose is to provide some assistance to households that otherwise would not receive it because VHA is not able to draw many households from our Section 8 waitlist right now,” Johnson said.
The rent buy down program is a simplified rental subsidy program that allows VHA to “buy down” the cost of rent while still adhering to funding constraints.
For landlords, it’s an opportunity to help address the affordable housing crisis while receiving guaranteed rent and increased occupancy rates. The rent buy down program designates a certain number of units within a multifamily property to receive this rental subsidy.
Owners or developers will determine whether tenants are eligible for the program based on income limits. The household must have an income at or below 50 percent of the area median income.
The rent buy down program is supported with $180,000 annually from VHA’s rental assistance budget funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. VHA anticipates 75 local households will benefit from the rental subsidy.
VHA’s participation in the federal Moving to Work Demonstration Program makes this creative approach possible. It’s one of dozens of public housing authorities nationwide able to design local strategies that use federal funds more efficiently.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this otherwise,” Johnson said.
VHA is looking for well-maintained multifamily properties and new developments across Clark County to participate in the rent buy down program. Interested property owners or developers can visit vhausa.org/business/bids-rfps or contact Roy Johnson at (360) 993-9500 for more information.