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Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board Offers Landlord Engagement Program

By: PRLog

The program works to address the region's housing shortage and make units available to those experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - May 3, 2023 - PRLog -- Housing attainability is critical in the Lehigh Valley. According to data gathered by the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, 81,391, or 3.3 in 10, households are cost-burdened in the region, meaning the household is paying more than 30% of gross income on housing costs. Homelessness has life-altering effects, especially for children, who are less likely to attend school and more likely to suffer from illness, including drug addiction. The Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board (LVRHAB) is working to combat this crisis and is offering its Landlord Engagement Program (LEP) through December 31, 2023. The program unites local landlords who have agreed to rent to individuals or families experiencing homelessness or at-risk households who need affordable housing.

LVRHAB's goal is to help participating tenants get housed as quickly as possible and keep them stably housed. Factors such as insufficient income, history of eviction, criminal records, and unsteady employment all work against this population and prevent them from maintaining quality housing. This program gives those experiencing homelessness or at-risk and working with partner housing programs the first pick of quality housing options like single-family homes, doubles, townhouses, and apartments. 45 landlords have participated thus far, and 52 units have been made available since the program's inception. The program seeks to maintain an inventory of at least 150 rental units.

"There is an immense need for this program in the Lehigh Valley,"  says Michele Albright, director of housing & emergency services at Valley Youth House. "We are in a position at Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board to help those in our communities that need it most. By connecting with as many local landlords as possible, this program can become even more of a success, and we can help participants obtain and maintain quality housing which is our number one goal."

Due to the lack of affordable housing in the Lehigh Valley, multiple applicants with strong finances are often ready to sign a rental contract when a new housing unit becomes available. LVRHAB's LEP aims to give program participants early right of refusal for available units and get them housed within 30 days of entering the program. Housing programs at Sixth Street Shelter, New Bethany, Lehigh Conference of Churches, Catholic Charities, Third Street Alliance, Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, and Valley Youth House partner with the LEP to connect those who need affordable housing to the units made available through the program. Individual RHAB member agencies have worked with landlords for years, but the funds to work collectively and provide meaningful incentives were unavailable.

While renting through the LEP, landlords receive guaranteed standard rental rate payments, reimbursement for property damage or missed rent, case management for tenants, and other supports to ensure a successful experience. Landlords receive a $1,000 signing bonus for the first unit, $500 for the second unit, and $250 for each additional unit.

Program funding is made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE ( grant, with additional financial support from Wells Fargo ( and the Housing Alliance ( of Pennsylvania.


About Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board

The Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board is a consortium of approximately 50 nonprofit organizations, faith-based initiatives, and government agencies working together to prevent and end homelessness in the Lehigh Valley. The board envisions a community in which everyone has access to housing they can afford and the support they need to keep that housing. By using culturally relevant, person-centered services, LVRHAB prevents homelessness before it occurs, shortens the time people spend homeless, provides households with access to safe housing, and links households to services and income opportunities to remain stably housed. To learn more, visit

Tina Hasselbusch

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

Lehigh Valley Regional Homeless Advisory Board

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