Landlords suddenly hot for Section 8 renters
They were unwanted when the market sizzled because the rent on their units is capped and landlords equate higher-income folks with being able to pay top dollar. But now, with greater vacancy rates and more people out of work, landlords are scrambling for tenants. And suddenly, Section 8 tenants are a hot-ticket item again.
The number of new landlords opting into the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Voucher Participation Program -- which offers housing assistance to very low-income people -- shot up 18% so far this year, according to a company that tracks the trend in certain U.S. cities. GoSection8.com president Richard Cupelli says that Phoenix, Dallas, Oakland and San Diego -- where builders overshot like drunken gamblers -- lead the pack in the Section-8 rental comeback.
"More landlords nationwide are looking to the Section 8 program because it offers guaranteed, stable rent payments at market price," Cupelli said.
Since a substantial portion of Section 8 rents are paid by the government, landlords suddenly see these tenants as a sure bet. Job loss or income drops won't affect that monthly check from being paid on time, landlords reckon, thus making the once-unpopular tenants such a sought-after commodity. Once the market upshifts, however, as it inevitably will, watch them retreat to the sidelines again.