NIFA Webinar Wednesdays – February 3, 2021
Building Landlord Relationships
Speakers: Judy Pederson, Commissioner of the Nebraska Housing and Homeless Commission; Carol Bodeen, Executive Director of Lincoln County Community Development Corporation; Retha Knapp, Lead Housing Locator at Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach; Randy McCoy, Executive Director of the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH)
Carol Bodeen and Judy Pederson kicked off this week’s webinar with a presentation on the Western Region of Nebraska’s Landlord Summit. They outlined trends that show a decrease of housing supply and a rising percent of the supply that is considered substandard. They also discussed the grass-roots effort in their community to update property maintenance codes and encourage code enforcement.
Retha Knapp discussed the basics of building and maintaining good relationships with landlords—namely honest, ongoing communication. She explained Matt Talbot’s Landlord Liaison Program, a grant-funded program that mediates between landlords and renters. They also provide added protection for landlords who are willing to rent people with limited income, poor rental histories, or criminal histories.
Randy McCoy talked about the importance of having landlords who understand the needs of lower-income populations and the barriers they face. He stressed the importance for providers to have people who can mediate between property managers and renters, rather than advocate for one side over another. He also noted MACCH’s role in educating people on updates to landlord/tenant law and explained their Damage Mitigation Fund, which provides supportive funds for instances that may be outside the scope of a normal security deposit.