How Twin Cities Suburbs are Trying to Address the Need for More Section 8 Housing
Housing advocates and officials across the metro are boosting efforts to raise awareness of the need for Section 8 housing, including attempts to recruit more landlords who will accept the vouchers.
“When occupancy rates are as high as they are right now, owners don’t feel as obligated to rent to somebody that has some type of rental subsidy,” said St. Louis Park housing supervisor Michele Schnitker, so the city has had to find ways to partner with landlords. “We’ve been successful in that.”
Nonprofits are also trying to help connect more low-income renters and property owners. Jaime Stampley, housing services director at Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, said the organization maintains a database of property owners who have expressed any type of willingness to take vouchers. They also keep track of documents for renters and serve as a liaison to landlords.
“If you miss that one piece of mail, you could miss the chance of a lifetime,” she said of people who sign up for the Section 8 waitlist.