The Threshold program is aimed at increasing housing opportunities for people facing homelessness and housing instability. Property owners and managers who participate in the program receive technical support, financial incentives, rent, and other guarantees that eliminate financial risks for renting to individuals and families that are reestablishing their income sources and rental history as they exit homelessness. The program works to provide secure and affordable housing for individuals facing barriers such as a lack of rental history or a poor credit score. The program provides support for both tenants and landlords, creating a win-win situation for both parties. The ultimate goal of the Threshold program is to help individuals experiencing homelessness transition to stable and long-term housing, which is key to improving their overall well-being and quality of life.
Problem or Need Addressed by the Program
The lack of affordable housing and coordination between landlords and the homeless services community has led to the development of the Threshold program. The program addresses the need for more housing opportunities for people facing homelessness and housing instability. Even with vouchers to pay for rent, individuals and families were unable to find suitable housing. This program aims to provide technical support, financial incentives, and other guarantees for participating property owners and managers to eliminate financial risks in renting to those exiting homelessness.
The Maricopa County Threshold Program was developed in response to the lack of affordable housing. The program is designed to increase the availability of housing opportunities for people experiencing and/or exiting homelessness through a centralized, system-wide landlord engagement service administered by HOM, Inc.
The program's primary objective is to rapidly expand housing opportunities for people experiencing and/or exiting homelessness by engaging landlords and incentivizing them to participate in the county's homeless housing programs. This is accomplished through a range of activities, including rental market research, outreach, and education, recruitment, incentivization of property owners. The program is aimed at leveraging existing properties for immediate impact on the clientele consisting of individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Maricopa County.
The program's time frame for development and implementation is five years. Year 1 focused on development and marketing, while years 2 and 3 were focused on implementation. Years 4 and 5 are dedicated to adjusting the program based on learnings and scaling it down for sustainability after the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding expires.
Maricopa County's role in implementing the program is to work collaboratively with HOM, Inc., the Maricopa Regional Continuum of Care, homeless services practitioners, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the success of the program. The Maricopa County Human Services Department was involved in the program's development, design, planning, and implementation to meet the needs of the community.
Threshold, funded by Maricopa County’s allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, has several expected outcomes. One of the key outcomes is the expansion of housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County by engaging landlords and incentivizing them to participate. Another expected outcome is increased coordination and collaboration between landlords and homeless services in the county. By creating a centralized, system-wide landlord engagement service, the program aims to improve communication and collaboration between these two groups, ultimately leading to more efficient and effective services for people experiencing homelessness.
Additionally, the program aims to reduce homelessness in Maricopa County by providing individuals and families with stable, affordable housing options. By expanding housing opportunities and improving coordination between landlords and homeless services, the program aims to help people exit homelessness and prevent future episodes of homelessness.
The Maricopa County Homeless Landlord Engagement Program is an innovative and collaborative approach to addressing the lack of affordable housing and coordination between landlords and homeless services in Maricopa County. The program leverages ARPA funding to create a solution to these issues, expand housing opportunities and reduce homelessness in the county.
Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Maricopa County recognizes that homelessness disparately impacts people of color and those with little to no income. Therefore, the county has developed a program that seeks to improve housing outcomes for those experiencing homelessness. This program is dedicated to increasing the availability of housing opportunities for people facing homelessness and housing instability.
By focusing on the most vulnerable populations, Maricopa County is taking important steps toward ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. This program seeks to improve housing outcomes for those experiencing homelessness. Data is available for review on race, ethnicity, age, and other demographics to understand if any disparities arise in the implementation of this program.
The Threshold program is funded by $7.5 million of Maricopa County’s allocation of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. The expenses cover the operation of the program for five years.
Results/Success of the Program
To date, Maricopa County’s Threshold program has achieved remarkable success in meeting its objectives. By partnering with 401 new landlords and property owners, the program added 880 new properties that offered at least one unit for people experiencing homelessness. This has significantly increased the availability of affordable housing for vulnerable populations in Maricopa County. Additionally, the program has facilitated the placement of over 800 households into housing, a notable achievement that indicates the effectiveness of the program.
Currently, there are approximately 700 additional available units that case managers can utilize for helping clients exit homelessness into housing. While still in operation, the Threshold program has already made significant progress in increasing the availability of affordable housing opportunities.
In addition to providing housing, Threshold has resulted in improved outcomes for clients’ quality of life. By addressing their need for housing and connecting them with resources, these individuals have been able to not only address their living situation but also their needs for food, income, employment, benefits, wellness, and more.
- 490 households have benefitted from Threshold by receiving a reduction in their rent. This is valued at $1,107,994.
- 146 households have benefitted from renting from a new property owner participating in the program. This is valued at $323,716.
- 73 households were accepted into housing before they were able to re-establish an income stream. This is valued at $181,157.
- 69 households that were justice-involved were accepted into housing. This is valued at $163,152.
- 56 households that have an eviction history were accepted into housing. This is valued at $146,622.
The Threshold program has been successful in meeting its objectives of increasing the availability of affordable housing opportunities for vulnerable populations in Maricopa County. By partnering with property owners, the program has significantly increased the number of available housing units, resulting in improved outcomes for clients.
Maricopa County's Threshold program is an innovative and targeted approach to address the demand for affordable housing and the rise in homelessness. Through this program, Maricopa County has demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by working to improve housing outcomes for people of color and those with little to no income who are disproportionately impacted by homelessness. The program has achieved remarkable success in partnering with new landlords and property owners, adding more than 880 new properties with at least one unit for people experiencing homelessness. With around 700 available units, the program has helped more than 800 households move into housing. The program's effectiveness and innovation have been recognized nationally.