PATH’s “LeaseUp” Program Receives Nearly $1M in LA County and Philanthropic Funding to Expand Landlord Network and Increase the Affordable Housing Supply
Funds from the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and California Community Foundation will bring PATH’s successful LeaseUp program to wider audience of property managers and owners
Los Angeles, CA – People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), California’s largest statewide non-profit working to end homelessness, announced today that it has received nearly $1 million in grants to increase awareness of its successful LeaseUp program. The initiative, first launched in 2018 and currently in partnership with hundreds of property owners across Southern California, has received critical support from the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Weingart Foundation, and California Community Foundation.
LeaseUp enables property owners with vacant units to connect with service providers like PATH and with prospective renters. The program helps transition formerly homeless people into vacant units of housing, benefiting renters and owners alike. Since 2018, LeaseUp has secured more than 4,000 units of subsidized rental units from more than 600 property owners and managers for Angelenos experiencing or at risk of homelessness. An outreach campaign last November and December helped Los Angeles property owners add 951 available and vacant units to the program, many from “satisfied repeat customers” choosing to add more of their units in recognition of the program’s value.
“This is a classic case of ‘doing good by doing well’,” said Joel John Roberts, PATH CEO. “The landlords who already participate in this program are receiving market rates with government guarantees. The renters who are moving into these apartments are finding a place they can call home that they’ve badly wanted and needed.”
“The LeaseUp program is a promising tool for County residents and stakeholders facing financial uncertainty,” said LA County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis. “This unprecedented global pandemic requires unprecedented actions to protect people experiencing homelessness, as well as provide support for struggling landlords. I thank our philanthropic partners for working diligently with the County to fund innovative win-win solutions.”
“The LeaseUp program is truly a win-win for our unhoused residents that want to be part of a caring housing community and for property owners across LA County. The expansion of LeaseUp is needed now more than ever, as we continue to address the rise in homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell.
“This significant investment by some of LA’s most important philanthropic institutions is a testament to the value of the LeaseUp program,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “LeaseUp is a smart program that lets property owners do good and also do well by matching rent-ready tenants with owners and managers, making renting easier and more reliable for everyone.”
“Every empty apartment is an opportunity to get someone housed,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Landlords need to be part of our plan to address homelessness and this program is really a win-win for everyone. Landlords get a unit filled and a reliable rent check every month, and we get someone into safe, affordable housing.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger said, “I am grateful for our partnership with PATH and the LeaseUp program that will help us continue to find solutions to provide people experiencing homelessness with essential housing.”
LeaseUp first launched in February 2018 with the support of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). Owners and managers have access to a free online portal where they can share their listing with case managers, who can then match the unit with a rent-stable client in need of housing. After a client is moved in, case managers regularly conduct on-site check-ins, and provide 24/7 support for property owners and managers. LeaseUp also offers property owners holding fees and protection against damages, as well as vacancy loss funds in case a client match falls through. The innovative program provides an easy-to-use platform to optimize the supply/demand matrix of affordable housing. In addition to the current Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, now-Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was a crucial supporter of LeaseUp during his tenure on the County Board of Supervisors.
“We need housing that is safe and affordable for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Antonia Hernández, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation. “For Los Angeles to thrive, Angelenos need housing they can afford and the opportunity to succeed in their lives.”
In the midst of the pandemic, getting unhoused LA County residents into permanent housing is a life-saving mission. LeaseUp is a vital part of the landlord engagement process in the COVID Recovery Plan to house thousands of COVID-vulnerable people experiencing homelessness, including those transitioning out of interim housing through Project Roomkey.
“LA County is proud to partner with PATH to expand its successful LeaseUp campaign,” LA County Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell said. “Given our dire shortage of affordable housing, we must seize every opportunity to reach out to prospective landlords and make it easy for them to unlock the potential of their vacant properties to house some of their most vulnerable neighbors.”
Property owners and service providers interested in participating in LeaseUp can learn more and sign up at www.leaseupla.org.
Founded in 1984, PATH is committed to ending homelessness for individuals, families, and communities in California. We do this by building affordable supportive housing and providing homeless services in 150 cities across the state. Our services support nearly 20% of the state’s population experiencing homelessness. Since 2013, PATH has helped more than 11,800 people move into permanent homes. More information at www.epath.org.