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      Lynchburg Housing Officials Plead With Landlords To Accept Virginian Tenants

      Lynchburg, VA - The Virginian apartment building is closing its doors for good at the end of August. If the 40 tenants that need a place to live are still looking, they'll be looking while out on the street.At a meeting of Lynchburg housing officials Wednesday, they announced a plea with the community to have landlords step up and give the 40 people a place to live. Because if housing is not found for them, 40 residents, many elderly or handicapped will be homeless come August 31st."This is a crisis" said Shawne Farmer, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Outreach Association.The Virginian Committee, a group of Lynchburg housing officials, was scrambling to find solutions Wednesday."We're asking the community to step forward to help manage this" said Farmer.The committee has already placed 40 Virginian residents into new homes, but they've hit a brick wall. No more options, no more building, no place for 40 people to live."In Central Virginia and in the Virginia area, there are 40 places that people can go and so we're asking the community to step forward" said Farmer.The concern surrounds landlords who are unwilling to rent to Section 8 tenants."Maybe there is some misconception in the community about what it takes to be a landlord on our program" said Dawn Fagan, Executive Director of the Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority."We have not had to jump through hoops at all. What we needed to do was maintain our apartments in a way that was appropriate for any tenant anywhere the way we would want for them to be" said Jeff Smith.Nine year Executive Director of the affordable housing organization, Rush Homes, Smith aimed to clear the confusion and set the record straight."It's guaranteed rent, it's a simple process, we don't undergo anything that's invasive from the housing authority other than their annual inspection and it works for us" he said.Lynchburg Housing officials are hoping it will work for other landlords in Central Virginia as well. They need 40 units by the end of August. If you are interested in offering Section 8 housing or you know someone who is, contact the Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority:Glenna L. Wright Director of Housing Operations(434)485-7200How to Become a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Landlord:1. Complete an application with required documents - proof of ownership;2. City taxes must be paid up to date;3. Contract rent must be within the allowable Fair Market Rent for Section 8 Program;4. Property must meet the Housing Quality Standards (HQS);5. Lead-Base paint documentation6. Knowledge of Fair Housing Laws or willing to attend a training course.Landlord Checklist:Documents to be filled out and returned to LRHA:1. Landlord application with required documents2. Authorization agreement for direct deposit3. W-94. Request for Tenancy ApprovalThe Next Steps:1. Initial inspection performed, property must pass Housing Quality Standards (HQS) prior to tenant moving in2. Technician will call once property passes initial inspection and set appointment for you to come in3. Bring in your lease with tenant signature4. Sign HAP contract with LRHA
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