Non-profit steps in to sign leases for the homeless

A non-profit group in Whitehorse is using an innovative new program to encourage more people to rent homes to people living with HIV-AIDS and Hepatitis C.
CBC's Cheryl Kawaja reports from Whitehorse 1:50

A non-profit group in Whitehorse is using an innovative new program to encourage more people to rent homes to people living with HIV-AIDS and Hepatitis C.

Blood Ties Four Directions started the program about two months ago. It’s called LWEH, pronounced ‘lee-way,’ for Landlords Working To End Homelessness.

Hannah Zimmering is the housing navigator at Blood Ties Four Directions.

'We help with any damages that happen,' says Hannah Zimmering of Blood Ties Four Directions.
“The idea is that we rent a place from a landlord and offer all the supports that a person needs,” Zimmering says.

In turn, the tenant pays rent to Blood Ties.

“We help with any damages that happen and we work with an open communication system so the landlord feels like they're in the loop rather than out of the loop so it gets rid of a lot of their fears.”

So far, Dean Philpott is the only landlord participating.

“We've had no issues whatsoever,” says Philpott, who’s been renting a bachelor unit to the program for $875 a month. 

"There's a guarantee that at the end of the day, we're going to get our money. So then we get to work on a lease together which is a great thing."

Philpott says he’s thinking of renting more of his apartments to the program,

“It was reassuring to know that I'm dealing with a professional group that's going to help us and we'll work through any issue that were to come up. So that's what was really powerful for me: you get support.”

Zimmering hopes to convince more landlords to get involved.

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