Mayor Pushes Landlords To House 500 Families

According to WUSA 9

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — Mayor Vince Gray has launched an ambitious effort to house 500 families in 100 days.

But one challenge is finding landlords willing who will take them in.

Chioma Nwadigo and her son Joshua, 3 is autistic. They are among the homeless families helped by DC’s rapid re-housing program. “We have shelter over our head,” says Nwadigo. “We have food. It’s getting me back on my feet to be able to get up there and be able to go out and help myself.”

The city is helping them cover their rent in a private apartment. Starting for four months, with options to extend help for longer.

“We can’t stand by and watch the increasing prosperity of this city while we ave a dismal experience at the margins,” says Mayor Gray.

At one point this cold winter, the city was housing some 760 homeless families; like Relisha Rudd’s, in the troubled DC General Shelter as well as in hotels, even in gyms at recreation centers. And it was costing millions of dollars.

The Mayor says getting families into their own homes can actually save the city money.

But a lot of landlords worry that when the city’s aid to these homeless families runs out, they will be faced with a long eviction process and no one to pay the rent.

The city says 80 percent of the families in ‘Rapid Re-Housing’ transition successfully out of the program.

But the headline here is that DC is now considering reimbursing landlords for those they have to evict. “That would mitigate 80 to 90 percent of these landlords’ problems,” says landlord Russ Brown.

And that should get more homeless families a home of their own. The Mayor says he hopes to have found homes for 500 families by the end of June.

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