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Landlord Guarantee Pilot Program

The Office of Housing Stability and Supportive Housing Division are piloting a program to support landlords who rent to homeless individuals and families.

Through our pilot program, we're giving resources, and financial help, to small landlords new to ​renting to homeless households. Other cities have put in place similar programs and found success. We hope to find similar success with your partnership.

Program participation benefits include motivated tenants, a dedicated landlord partner, access to landlord resources including mediation services, and access to funds for losses including unpaid rent and excessive damages. Through this program, we are creating opportunities for you to provide a stable place to call home for some of the most vulnerable residents in our City.

Please keep in mind:

Participation in this pilot program is limited. We hope to scale the program benefits to partner with more landlords in the future.

Call us about the Program

617-635-4200 (Option 3)

Email us about the Program
Apply to the Program
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Program information

Program information
  • Reimbursement up to $10,000. In the first two years of the tenancy, if a conflict can not be resolved and you incur a financial cost, you could receive a reimbursement for losses such as unpaid back rent, repairs for tenant caused damage, insurance deductibles and certain costs associated with legal action. These are fully outlined in the Participation Agreement. Reimbursement is expected within 45 days of submission of the claim form and complete documentation.
  • Motivated tenants. The participating tenants are committed to a successful tenancy and will have the ongoing support of a case manager.

  • Landlord Partner. Your Landlord Partner is your support throughout the program. Your Landlord Partner will walk you through the application and tenant selection process as well as provide support during the tenancy or to access the fund, if necessary. You will receive a response to inquiries within two business days. 
  • Landlord Resources. Your Landlord Partner will provide coaching, training and professional referrals. In the event tenancy issues arise, your Landlord Partner will provide support and can coordinate free mediation services to help resolve disputes.

Tenants are families and individuals who have been homeless and are actively seeking a home now. Many households have a stable monthly income; some are pursuing education and job training opportunities. Each household will receive federal or state rental assistance. Part of their rent will be paid directly to the landlord. 

Each household also has the support of a case manager, which may include assistance in budgeting and finance, apartment etiquette, or any other life skills needed to be a successful renter. Tenant participants receive at least 6 months of case management services and may receive these services longer, depending on household need. 

Tenant Screening:

Many landlords screen prospective tenants in order to increase the likelihood of a successful tenancy and reduce the likelihood of financial risk. Through this program, we can achieve a similar outcome. Your Landlord Partner and other case managers help support the landlord-tenant relationship. Also, the access to the guarantee fund reduces a landlord's financial risk.

By reducing the screening criteria, we can quickly offer leases to tenants without forgoing your safeguards.

Steps Involved:
  1. You sign the Participation Agreement and provide your Landlord Partner with information about the available unit.
  2. Your Landlord Partner will coordinate potential tenants.
  3. Three potential tenants will be referred.
  4. You can choose to lease with one of those three referrals. If you decide not to lease with any referral, your Landlord Partner will discuss options with you.
SETTING UP THE LEASE

After you have approved your tenant, a local nonprofit will need to inspect the unit before your tenant can move in. The nonprofit will schedule the inspection, which looks at general habitability and safety. The lease you execute can be the same as what you may use with other tenants. You may also sign a Housing Assistance Payment agreement with a local non-profit. 

DURING THE TENANCY

Your new tenant is held to the same tenancy standards as any other. If there is a disagreement, please contact your Landlord Partner for help. We want you to have access to all the tools and supports available. We expect the tenancy to be successful. Though it's rare, sometimes tenants don’t work out, and you may need to pay for damages or court costs. Your Landlord Partner can help you access reimbursement.