Living on the streets or in a shelter in Los Angeles means having to wait to get housing through the county's Coordinated Entry program, which connects homeless people with an apartment or house as quickly as possible, though it usually takes months. This isn't ideal for those living on the streets without the safety of a house of their own. Luckily, there is a new platform that is looking to help expedite the process for landlords posting property for caseworkers to search through.
The platform, called Lease Up, has a website and app that looks a little like Zillow: On a map of the area, it’s possible for caseworkers to search for apartment listings, which are updated in real time, and filter by criteria like bedroom size or the type of subsidy available. For landlords, the new platform gives a single point of contact instead of multiple different homelessness organizations. When a landlord lists a new unit, nonprofit staff inspect the apartment, and then pay the landlord a holding fee of up to $1,100 so they can keep the unit vacant until a homeless client can go through the paperwork to move in.
“In the past, it had been a little disjointed, where landlords might have talked to multiple providers to try to find individuals who were interested in renting their units,” says Jennifer Hark-Dietz, chief operating officer for PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), a nonprofit that developed the new platform along with local agencies. “A case manager might call multiple landlords, and landlords were getting 50 calls for one unit. In addition, case managers didn’t have real-time units that were available, so you’d look on Craigslist, make your calls, and you’d hear that the unit has been leased out.”
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