FAQ for Landlords

John Wilson_102913_AngelaIf you are a landlord and have any questions, please contact Deon Trotter, housing and outreach coordinator of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, at 615-862-6417 or email him at deon.trotter@nashville.gov.

If you prefer speaking to a landlord who is partnering with the How’s Nashville campaign, please contact Kirby Davis with Freeman Webb, Inc. at 615-271-2714 or by emailing kirby.davis@freemanwebb.com. Mr. Davis is a landlord who is willing to walk you through the process of partnering with the How’s Nashville campaign.

Here are some of the questions that landlords have about working with How’s Nashville:

Q: What specifically are you asking me to do?

A: We would like to work with you on easing up on some of the eligibility criteria for the people we are trying to help move into permanent housing. Kirby Davis, one of our landlord partners who is also a champion of the How’s Nashville campaign, has adopted separate eligibility criteria for people referred to him by How’s Nashville partners. Of course, the landlord will have the discretion to approve each individual applicant. Here is a list of the eligibility criteria landlords partnering with How’s Nashville use: Eligibility_Criteria_042213 (2)

Q: If I work with you and give preference to people referred by the How’s Nashville campaign and even adopt a different set of eligibility criteria for them, what about the Fair Housing Act?

A: The How’s Nashville campaign is aligned with the national 100,000 Homes Campaign. The national campaign has researched the issue of fair housing to ensure that federal fair housing laws are observed by participating cities. Please review the fair housing legal opinion obtained by the national campaign.

In addition, the Tennessee Fair Housing Council is a partner of the How’s Nashville campaign and has assured us that our approach is in line with the Fair Housing Act. Please review the Fair Housing Council opinion letter ensuring us that the How’s Nashville campaign is in line with fair housing requirements: TN Fair Housing Council Letter FHA.

Q: How will people pay their rent?

A: The How’s Nashville campaign will pay the first months’ rent and utility deposits. Under a partnership between the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), the How’s Nashville campaign is receiving 18 Section 8 Housing vouchers a month.

If you are not a Section 8 landlord yet but would like to join the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program, please contact the MDHA’s Rental Assistance Office by calling 615-252-6500.

In addition to Section 8 landlords, we are working with landlords who donated a few units to the How’s Nashville cause at a reduced rent. If you would like to give back to the community by assisting a vulnerable person who has experienced long-term homelessness with housing, please contact Kirby Davis with Freeman Webb, Inc. at 615-271-2714 or by emailing kirby.davis@freemanwebb.com. He is available to answer your questions.

Q: What will happen if I have any problems with the new resident?

A: How’s Nashville links recent residents with community support services. In addition, most of the people directly referred to you by How’s Nashville partners will have a case manager – a social worker who will check in with the resident and work on any issues that arise. The goal is to assist people to remain stably housed. You will know the support worker and have his/her phone number. In addition, you can always call Karri Simpson at the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission at 615-880-2293 with any concerns.

Q: When do I contact a case manager?

A: Please contact the case manager or Karri Simpson with any observation you make about your resident that you think warrants some follow up. It is important that you let us know if the renter is behind in paying rent or utilities, if neighbors complain, if the resident is behaving in an unusual way, even if a resident comes to your office too often or does not respond in a timely manner to any requests you may have. We prefer you communicate with the case manager and/or Ms. Simpson as soon as possible. We welcome any positive feedback as well.

Q: How long do you house the How’s Nashville resident?

A: While people who have experienced homelessness may need a little adjustment time, they are permanent residents until they choose to move. Please treat them as you would any other renter. However, we do ask that you contact us about any incidences or observations that will help us support your tenant better. We want you to be a landlord and your resident to be the best possible renter for you.

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