Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, federal housing officials developed a new program in hopes of getting homeless residents off the streets more quickly. The voucher effort, which pays the lion’s share of a tenant’s rent, would be easy for tenants to use and provide generous incentives to landlords. In some cases, landlords and property managers could receive bonuses of $7,000 simply for allowing one of these new voucher holders to live in their unit.
On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we discuss why Los Angeles has struggled to house people under this program, despite the loosened restrictions and vast need for homeless housing. L.A. had only used about 6% of the more than 3,000 vouchers it had received as of last month. Our guest is Jack Lahey, director of homeless services at the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, which has had much greater success with the voucher program than L.A