City offering $500 bonuses to new landlords

Jeri Asher, formerly an inspector with the City’s Housing Choice Voucher program, examines a property to make sure it meets safety and code standards.

Pandemic program designed to help families find housing

COVINGTON, Ky. - Desperate to help its vulnerable families find places to live, the City of Covington is offering $500 bonuses to landlords who sign a new lease through the City’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Some 126 low-income families are certified as potential tenants under the program commonly known as Section 8, but there aren’t enough landlords participating, said Kim Phillips, the City’s Housing Choice Voucher Program coordinator.
So the City will use money from the federal government’s pandemic aid allocation to fund incentives to encourage new leases, retroactive to June 1.
“COVID-19 has had a tremendous negative impact on our families, especially those who worked in the service industry,” Phillips said. “We definitely have families who lost income and need assisted housing more than ever. Unfortunately, the pandemic has created an additional layer of difficulty to the already difficult challenge of finding landlords.”
The leases must be new and not just transfers, she said. The vouchers can be used anywhere in Kenton County, and the bonuses are also available countywide.
Property owners who have questions or who would like to participate in the voucher program should call (859) 292-2188.
Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith said there are many benefits for landlords to participate in the program, which increases accountability on the part of tenants and guarantees part of their rent.
“I know that historically, some landlords are concerned about leasing through the voucher program but I would encourage them to take another look,” Smith said. “One of the biggest myths is that landlords are forced to accept so-called ‘problem’ tenants. They aren’t. Landlords absolutely retain the right to screen a potential tenant in their normal manner, enforce their lease, and hold the voucher user to the same standards as any other tenant.”
For more details about the voucher program and its advantages, see HERE.
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