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New study finds Utah landlords want to help homeless, but don't know how

A new study finds that landlords in northern Utah would like to help reduce homelessness, although many aren’t aware of local resources.

(Deseret News)



LOGAN — A new study finds that landlords in northern Utah would like to help reduce homelessness, although many aren't aware of local resources at their disposal.

A pair of professors at Utah State University, Jess Lucero and Jayme Walters led the study with the help of undergraduate students in their courses. Their goal was to teach students how to conduct local studies and apply the findings in those communities.

"Many people are on the brink of homelessness in our communities, and the current state of the housing market makes getting into housing for those who already are homeless even more difficult," Lucero explained in a media release.

Specifically, their study surveyed 130 landlords in the Bear River Region. It found that a majority of landlords view homelessness as a serious issue and want to help, although many aren't aware of nearby resources.

Where to turn for assistance?

The study highlights New Hope, Cache Valley Veterans Association, Utah Families Feeding Families and 4 Helping Hearts as examples of homelessness resources in the area.

Many of their programs are designed to alleviate concerns about renting to someone experiencing homelessness.

Lucero has been a housing advocate in the community for years and prepared a report last year titled "Homelessness in the Bear River Region." That report found Cache County had a shortage of nearly 1,200 affordable housing units and more than 3,400 units for low-income renters.

"So many homeless programs are pretty reliant on landlords for housing individuals in the private rental market," says Lucero. "Programs like rapid rehousing and others give individuals who are experiencing homelessness and households who are experiencing homelessness rental assistance, down-payment assistance, that kind of financial ability to get back into housing. There have been folks that have been looking for housing for months who have the finances to pay for it, but either can't find a landlord who will work with them or, in the first place, any available housing because of what our housing market looks like right now."

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John Wojcik

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