Nonprofits woo Charlotte-area landlords to house homeless

Area nonprofits courted Charlotte’s landlords Tuesday morning as part of a new push to recruit more apartments and rental homes for homeless people in need of immediate housing.

The Salvation Army Center of Hope and Charlotte Family Housing teamed up for what could eventually be a series of “landlord fairs,” aimed at finding homes across the city for adults and families now living in shelters.

Rental properties across the community are seen as crucial to helping charities rehouse homeless people more quickly, something that is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Twenty-two landlords attended the Tuesday event, hearing from representatives of the city, Charlotte Housing Authority and Foundation for the Carolinas.

The foundation is helping create a public-private endowment that will eventually offer about $1 million a year to help struggling families and returning veterans maintain stable housing. The money will pay for rent subsidies and for social services to help the homeless stabilize their lives.

Nonprofits working with the homeless say their housing programs remain in constant need of landlords willing to work with clients who are emerging from financial mismanagement and evictions.

The charities offer both rental subsidies and help with financial management, making it easier for landlords to take the risk of renting to people with a bad credit records, officials said.

In the past fiscal year, Charlotte Family Housing helped house 248 families with the help of landlords. More than 90 percent of the people the program helped maintained permanent housing without a rental subsidy after they left the program, officials said.