Do you own rental property and would like to have good renters? Third Street Alliance can help you.
New home construction is booming in the Lehigh Valley. Existing rental units in downtown neighborhoods are being converted to luxury apartments. Today, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Lehigh Valley is $1,129 and rent for a two-bedroom luxury apartment can run from $1,500 to $2,000 a month. But monthly rent in excess of 30% of a family’s income is considered unaffordable. For families making less than $40,000 a year, this new housing boom represents a real challenge. For families who are struggling with homelessness, the challenges are even greater.
Third Street Alliance works to help our local communities address the challenges of affordable housing, by seeking innovative solutions. Now with funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), we have joined the Rapid Rehousing program. This program has successfully demonstrated that short and mid-term rental assistance is an effective tool in helping people struggling with homelessness obtain and retain safe and stable rental housing.
Through this program, we act as a bridge between landlords with available rental units and qualified households. Our staff assists in bringing landlords and potential tenants together, working with households to ensure they have a financial plan in place, and assists with security deposits and rental assistance. We also assist with landlord-tenant issues.
“With working with Rapid Rehousing, I referred the services to other family members who are landlords.”-Abe
“I now have my second tenant through Rapid Rehousing in a different building and have a third unit pending with Rapid Rehousing!” – Andrew
“Rapid Rehousing helped fill my apartments twice! They took the stress off of finding a tenant.” – Elin
“Rapid Rehousing found me a tenant who has been with me over a year. My tenant is even handy and fixes things for me!” – Carmine
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will I have responsible renters?
A: Yes! Our renters have attended educational sessions on topics such as budgeting, understanding rental agreements, housekeeping, general apartment maintenance, being a good neighbor, etc.
Q: Will I still get a check at the beginning of the month? What about the security deposit and damage costs?
A: Yes! Many low-income families can afford the monthly rent but have difficulty saving enough money for both the security deposit and first month’s rent. As a result, we help them put together this one-time payment.
We also have the ability to subsidize, on a sliding scale, first three months of rent. This allows people some time to stabilize and build an emergency fund for the future. And, if during the first two years of the lease, there is a crisis – unplanned medical bills, job loss or some other emergency – Third Street Alliance can help families get back on their feet by subsidizing rent until the crisis is resolved.
Q: Will these new tenants have a job and any support they need?
A: Yes! Our Case Managers conduct regular home visits to ensure that our Rapid Re-Housing tenants are stabilized in their new environments, their jobs are going well and they are getting the support they need. Regular follow up appointments allow us to identify and address problems early before they impact housing stability.
Q: What do I do in the event of an issue with the tenant?
A: Call us! Despite best efforts, problems are sometimes inevitable. However, when problems arise, it can be reassuring to know there is someone to call. We care as much about our relationship with our landlords as we do our tenants. We need everyone to make our program work. The job of a Case Manager is to be a neutral party, ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and that problems are resolved quickly and impartially.
Q: What if one tenant doesn’t work out? Can you guarantee that someone will be ready to fill the spot?
A: Yes! Working with our program gives you access to a pool of ready-to-rent tenants. Just call us when you have a vacant unit and we will immediately match you with an individual or family looking for housing.
Q: Will I really be making a difference in my community?
A: Yes! Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live. By becoming a partnering landlord in our Rapid Re-Housing Program, you are playing an integral role in helping individual and families take charge of their lives. And, by opening up rental units to qualified, vetted participants you are making your community a safe and better place to live.
To learn more or to become a partnering landlord with the Rapid Rehousing program, contact Ellen Caban, Housing Navigator at 610-438-9438 or at [email protected]