Consider a person who has had stable employment for years, but their employer closes their doors for good, laying off the entire workforce. A rent increase of $200 a month for a senior on a fixed Social Security income. An unexpected illness that causes a person to not be able to work and sends them into a debt spiral of medical bills they cannot afford to pay. A household losing the primary income earner. These are just a few examples of situations that can cause or exacerbate episodes of homelessness in our community.
Through an initiative called Operation Home! a coalition of agencies is assisting people experiencing homelessness with rental assistance and supportive services. A key component to the success of the program is the need to secure ongoing partnerships with property partners, like homeowners, property managers, investors and developers to access affordable vacant units quickly.
Operation Home! is a community-wide effort designed to quickly and permanently house community members in Southern Nevada, who need a home. Local government partners include Clark County, city of Las Vegas, city of Henderson and city of North Las Vegas, which are working closely with a regional coalition that includes numerous service provider organizations, faith-based groups and corporate partners. All have come together to address Southern Nevada’s housing crisis under the auspices of Operation Home!
Along with providing rental assistance this program provides client-centered planning in conjunction with support services that include tenant specific case management, assistance with coordinating medical care such as physical and mental health services, behavioral health treatment and assisting people with regaining access to employment.
The demand for affordable rental homes has exceeded the current supply due to rising property values.
Accordingly, households with extremely low incomes are limited in their housing options and are at the greatest risk for experiencing homelessness. Susy Vasquez, executive director of the Nevada State Apartment Association states: “As of March 1, 2022, the average market rental rate in Southern Nevada is $1,435, which is a 20.97 percent increase from 2021.”
This is our community crisis and with the assistance of over $25 million dollars in federal American Rescue Plan and CARES Act funding there are resources available to address the challenges of housing instability and homelessness.
For this program to be successful, Operation Home! must build partnerships with property management companies, apartment owners, Realtors, homeowners, investors — anyone who has access to vacant affordable units.
The benefits of becoming a property partner with Operation Home! are significant. For each unit leased to an Operation Home! program participant the owner of the unit will receive a $1,000 lease signing bonus. The program provides double security deposits and on-time monthly rent payments. Property partners can use up to $3,000 of a risk mitigation fund to rehab units to pass Housing Quality Standards and/or be reimbursed up to $3,000 for damages to restore the unit following a tenant exit. Operation Home! utilizes a web-based housing search platform known as Padmission, which allows property partners to list and market their properties to prospective tenants for free.
If you or someone you know has access to affordable rental units and needs tenants, Operation Home! is the program to consider. For more information and to learn more about Operation Home! contact me today at PageM@pagestrategicsolutions.com or 702-340-4813 and visit the webpage at helphopehome.org/oh.
If you have further questions, consider joining a standing monthly webinar that takes place every second Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m., PST. The next meeting will be held on April 12, 2022, at 10 a.m.
Maurice Page is a contractor for Clark County Social Services and serves as the landlord engagement specialist for Operation Home! program.