Local News

Durham looking for landlords to house homeless vets

Posted July 28, 2015 10:59 a.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2015 6:37 p.m. EDT

— The city of Durham is calling on local property managers and landlords to help end veteran homelessness.

In 2014, City of Durham Mayor William V. Bell was among hundreds of mayors across the nation who signed on to the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness. The initiative, which was issued by the Obama Administration, aims to eliminate veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 through system-level coordination of housing and service resources from all sectors of a community.

Since signing the challenge, Durham has been able to house 180 formerly homeless veterans with help from the Durham Homeless Services Advisory Committee.

Currently, there are 80 remaining veterans who need to be housed, and the city is able to access up to $2 million per year to provide HUD and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing rental assistance vouchers to property managers and landlords willing to offer up rental units. According to Durham’s Community Development Department Director Reginald J. Johnson, the city will not receive the federal financial support unless more landlords step forward.

“If we can house these remaining 80 homeless veterans, then Durham will join the list of other cities that met the challenge, and more importantly, helped the men and women who served our country to find homes,” Johnson said in a statement Tuesday.

Sarah Quintero, a property manager at Eagle Point Apartment Homes, said her complex has been renting to homeless veterans for the last three years.

"(These veterans) have gone out and fought for us and a lot of them have seen some horrible things. To come home and not be welcomed," she said.

Former Marine, Tyrone Battle, said he plans to move in to his own apartment soon.

"Moving back out into your own apartment...it's a really exciting time," he said.

Landlords and property managers who participate will have guaranteed income through monthly rental payments, fair market rent on their property, a say in security deposits and annual property recertification by third-party inspection, said Johnson. VA services will provide ongoing case management for tenants, which will lower default risks.

Property managers and landlords who wish to participate should contact the Durham VA Medical Center Homeless Program at 919-286-0411 ext. 7065.