HASLO utilizing grant cash to assist individuals discover inexpensive housing

The City of San Luis Obispo Housing Authority (HASLO) uses grant funds to help homeless people get off the streets and into affordable housing.

HASLO has received enough grant funds to distribute more than 150 Section 8 vouchers to the homeless in San Luis Obispo.

The managing director of HASLO says the goal is to accommodate all of the people taking part within the next six months.

“Well, I’d say give us a chance. We’re human. You know,” said HASLO customer Bryan Pennywell.

Veteran Pennywell is just one of many clients HASLO has helped get back on their feet, and he asks landlords to do the same for others.

“It’s a sad situation because even people who work here often can’t even afford a one-room apartment alone. It’s a difficult situation, ”said HASLO Managing Director Scott Smith.

HASLO has put together an incentive program that guarantees landlords the rent. Prospective tenants are screened and those who qualify are selected. Often it is people who have had tough times and just need one chance to get back on their feet.

“The only requirement is that these people are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless, as if they have just lost their jobs or are in a crisis. Something like that, ”said Smith.

Tenants must prove that they work or have an income and can pay part of the rent.

“There are a lot of homeless people. We have a customer who is homeless that we were able to accommodate who actually has a part-time job, about 25 hours a week. They get up at 6am, take the bus to get to their job and you’d never know I guess is the point, “said Smith.

Although the program is financially secure, the challenge now is to find landlords to take in those who have received coupons.

Pennywell hopes others will get involved in the community and have a positive impact on the lives of people currently facing homelessness, as HASLO did for him.

“Well, it changed my life in different ways because when I felt like there was no hope, it gave me hope because they never gave up on me and it helped me establish myself,” he said .

Landlords who are the “Welcome home program“Receives a signature bonus of US $ 4,000 in addition to the rental.