The Importance of Landlords

Jana Rinaldi is a landlord in Santa Cruz County. She shared what it’s like working with Housing Matters as a landlord and why she now prioritizes Housing Matters participants as her tenants. She hopes this perspective will encourage other landlords to consider renting to families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

“I learned about Housing Matters when I had a unit available on Jade Street. I listed it on Craigslist and got 188 applicants in one day! One of those applications was from Lindsey, a case manager with Housing Matters representing one of their participants. Something about her just connected with me right away.

I ended up picking Lindsey’s client for the Jade Street location and I couldn’t have been luckier. She’s the most incredible tenant; a caring person and a single mom. She loves her home! And I never would’ve found her if I hadn’t been open to looking at families in transition.

Housing Matters also helped me place another client. He’s an older gentleman and if he would’ve just walked up and I was doing an open house, I might have been judge-y and said no. He’s been one of my best tenants. He does his own repairs, he never complains and is so happy to be there. He’s one of my favorites because he’s just so kind. I’m glad I was able to look beyond.

There’s challenges, sure, but you’re going to have challenges even if you rent to a private person. What makes it so nice is you have a caseworker; somebody you can go to that’s very supportive, not only of their client but also of the landlord. I can reach out to say, “hey, I’ve got a problem, I’ve got a neighbor who’s complaining about noise”. And they’ll step up and help to where it doesn’t escalate. It’s also nice to have that support with Section 8 (Housing Choice) Vouchers. Housing Matters always makes the payment easy and seamless. If something doesn’t get paid on time, they’re like, we’ve got you, no worries!

Housing Matters also contacted me with the Housing Authority, and they are very responsive. The first time you go through the system to get your unit approved, it takes about 8 week. Now that I have this relationship, I can get a voucher approved and in the system in 3-4 weeks.

I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Housing Matters. So now when I have a unit available I come to Housing Matters and ask who they have that is the most in need.

I encourage my friends with properties to open their minds to renting to families in transition and people experiencing homelessness. And if any landlords are teetering, I’m always happy to share my story and encourage them to give a Housing Matters participant a chance.”