04 Jul ReEntry Alliance Pensacola to Provide Local Landlords Cash Incentives for Permanent Housing
by Katie King |Katie@ewbullock.com
ReEntry Alliance Pensacola to Provide Local Landlords Cash Incentives for Permanent Housing
Pensacola, Florida (July 6, 2021) – ReEntry Alliance Pensacola, Inc. (REAP) was recently selected as a Rapid ReHousing (RRH) service provider and awarded over $200,000 from the local Continuum of Care Lead Agency — Opening Doors of Northwest Florida, Inc. This funding is part of the $3.5 million Emergency Shelter Grant Cares Act CV2 Funding provided by the State of Florida, Department of Children and Family, Office of Homelessness.
The new REAP RHH program will serve 100 people by preventing them from becoming homeless or by finding permanent housing for those experiencing homelessness over the next 12 months, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.REAP will work in collaboration with Opening Doors of Northwest Florida and other local Continuum of Care service providers along with local private landlords and homes, duplex, apartment, and mobile home property management companies in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.“We are happy to be able to offer this needed housing assistance program to the community, especially those who have been negatively affected by the COVID 19 pandemic here in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties,” said Vinnie Whibbs, Executive Director of REAP.Rick Dye will head up the new RRH and Landlord Incentive Program as director. The program will provide case management, rapid rehousing, and temporary financial assistance to 100 clients who have been impacted by COVID-19 and now find themselves homeless, or soon-to-be-homeless. Due to underlying health conditions and a lack of access to medical and indoor sleeping facilities, people experiencing homelessness are more susceptible to COVID-19 and at higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms.“REAP is proud to be a part of the community’s initiatives to reduce homelessness in the two-county area by providing this Rapid ReHousing response service,” said Dye.Working through Opening Doors of Northwest Florida, Inc., Escambia and Santa Rosa counties utilized various federal funds, including significant funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to go toward reducing the number of local citizens who experience homelessness. Working together, the various cities and two counties are making the single largest investment in addressing homelessness and homeless prevention in each county’s history.“We must take care of the most vulnerable among us during this time. The COVID-19 crisis has put many people’s living situations at an increased risk of becoming homeless due to a temporary loss of employment during the various local business shut downs,” said John Johnson, Executive Director, Opening Doors of Northwest Florida, Inc. “REAP stands by the Housing First Initiative to help eligible people improve their lives when re-entering normal community life after an extended time of personal disorder.”REAP will expand its current housing services to include those in the community who are in need of permanent housing due to loss of job or sickness during the pandemic but who have been re-hired and can prove to participating landlords a stable, reliable monthly income. Many of those negatively affected by COVID-19 have damaged their credit ratings and need the assistance REAP can provide in working with area landlords and property managers on their behalf.Local rental property landlords and managers will have a crucial role to play in solving and preventing homelessness in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. As an incentive to local landlords and rental property managers, REAP is offering:1). Cash bonuses paid to landlords who sign on as Community Partners equal to one or two months of rent, depending on the number of bedrooms in the rental home,or2). Security deposits up to three times the monthly rent cost.In addition to those landlord and property manager incentives, REAP will also provide housing assistance services to eligible individual participants, if needed, to reassure landlords of their rent worthiness, of the following:1). Short-term (up to three months) rental assistance and may include up to six months of arrears, including rental application fees charged by owner to all applicants.2). Security deposits not to exceed two month’s rental payments.3). Utility deposits.4). Utility payments for gas, electric, water, and sewer (up to three months including up to six months arrearage.)5). Moving cost assistance (including short term storage not to exceed three months.)6). Housing Search and Placement Services to assist participants in locating and obtaining permanent housing.7). Case Management Services to include initial assessments and re-evaluations, housing stability planning, and arranging, coordinating, and monitoring the delivery of services to facilitate housing stability.8). Legal and Mediation Services required to resolve a legal problem that prohibits the household to obtain or maintain permanent housing.
9). Credit Repair Services to assist with skills related to household budgeting, money management and resolving personal credit problems.
About ReEntry Alliance Pensacola, Inc. (REAP)REAP specializes in assisting men and women re-entering the community with transitional housing, case management, counseling, job placement service and now, permanent affordable housing assistance. REAP caseworkers will work individually with clients to remove barriers to housing, employment and provide connections to wrap-around services available in the community, including literacy/GED education, SNAP food stamps, job skills training, SSA disability benefits enrollment, medical care and mental health services, and door to door/home to job transportation services. Assigned REAP Rapid ReHousing caseworkers will visit with Rapid ReHousing clients and landlords continuously to guarantee a successful, mutually-beneficial landlord/tenant relationship during the initial lease term.For more information about ReEntry Alliance Pensacola, Inc., please visit http://www.reapreentry.org.Individuals looking for assistance with housing can call Rick Dye or Juliana Regis at 850-332-6677.