Answers to communities’ questions, concerns about low-income housing projects
This information for the public was prepared by Jamboree Housing, a development company similar to Danco that builds and manages low-income housing projects from San Diego to Sacramento. This information addresses some of the questions and concerns expressed by Susanville residents regarding the proposed development on North Mesa Street.
Jaden Johnson, the project manager with Danco for the proposed North Mesa Street project, said this release, printed with Jamboree’s permission, accurately describes the local project in Susanville.
What is Permanent Supportive Housing?
This successful model is based on research regarding how those with significant challenges who have experienced homelessness can avoid future episodes of homelessness. Permanent Supportive Housing, also referred to as Supportive Housing, combines affordable housing with best-practice services for individuals and families with disabilities and a lengthy history of homelessness. This model has been demonstrated to permanently keep the majority of persons who enter the program from ever becoming homeless again. Communities, utilizing this approach, realize better than 90 percent success rate in avoiding a return to homelessness.
Is Permanent Supportive Housing just another word for “homeless shelter”?
No, Permanent Supportive Housing is not a homeless shelter. In fact, a shelter is not housing. A shelter is designed to provide a transitional or temporary place to sleep or live. Permanent Supportive Housing is designed to help people permanently avoid homelessness. Generally, a shelter automatically sets a limitation on the time that someone can live there and may limit the hours when a person can be onsite. If housing cannot be found during this time, the person is likely to return to his/her homeless condition. Many shelters, such as the armories, are only open during the nighttime hours and the homeless must exit the premises during the daytime hours. As a result, many communities that provide a shelter may see homeless individuals wandering through the neighborhood during the day. This is not the experience of communities served by Jamboree’s permanent supportive housing communities.
Is Permanent Supportive Housing another term for “public housing”?
No. Actually, the federal government in the 1970s built the last “public housing” that formed a justifiable negative stereotype … and most are being torn down. However, affordable housing today is subject to strict local controls and is smaller in scale than the old public housing. Today’s affordable multifamily housing is typically better in quality and design and often indistinguishable from market-rate housing. Jamboree’s built award-winning affordable communities that serve individuals and families who were formerly homeless. These properties have been recognized locally and nationally for their design, green features and resident programming.
What is Jamboree’s experience with Permanent Supportive Housing?
Jamboree has owned and operated Permanent Supportive Housing developments for more than 10 years. These apartment communities are home to veterans, the formerly homeless, those living with mental illness and transitional-aged youth (children who have aged out of the foster care system) and a proven solution to ending chronic homelessness and providing comprehensive programs for treating mental illness.
Does Permanent Supportive Housing have a property manager live onsite?
Yes, Permanent Supportive Housing properties typically have onsite staff that includes a community manager and maintenance technician hired by the owner. Community managers are hired with expertise in working with this specific population of residents.
Do sex offenders live in Permanent Supportive Housing?
No, registered sex offenders are not entitled to live in the properties (HUD rule 2012-28).
Are illegal substances allowed onsite?
No, illegal substances (based on federal definitions) are not permitted on the properties and usage is grounds for criminal prosecution and eviction.
Does Permanent Supportive Housing become a magnet for more homeless individuals?
No, there is no evidence that Permanent Supportive Housing attracts more homeless people to a city, a specific neighborhood, or to the property itself.
Does the presence of Permanent Supportive Housing increase loitering in the neighborhood?
No, not in Jamboree’s experience with supportive housing. Unlike shelters, where individuals are required to leave the shelter during the daytime, residents in Permanent Supportive Housing can remain onsite to enjoy their own home and the many services and programs offered in the neighborhood. As a result, increased loitering in the neighborhood is unlikely. Many residents re-establish personal goals related to education, employment and independence and become engaged in positive activities within the community – including employment, volunteering, education and others.
Does Permanent Supportive Housing affect neighbor’s property values?
There is no evidence that any community where Jamboree has developed this form of housing that it affects property values negatively. Anecdotal evidence has been evaluated and housing values in the neighborhoods surrounding Jamboree developments perform equally to the surrounding community with no negative effects on property values. In fact, in 2008, Jamboree converted an empty, weed-infested remnant parcel adjacent to a freeway off ramp into a vibrant Permanent Supportive Housing apartment community that continues to enhance a community’s image.
Does crime in the neighborhood increase when Permanent Supportive Housing is built? Do calls to law enforcement increase?
No, there is no evidence that crime in the neighborhood or calls to law enforcement increase. Jamboree developments have onsite staff that watch for the safety of the neighborhood as well as the residents of our own housing. Our staff is well trained to work with local law enforcement to report any unsafe activity and to ensure that our residents and others in the community are acting responsibly. Many residents volunteer and participate in activities such as National Night Out to keep their neighborhoods safe.
What happens if there is a problem in the neighborhood? Are the communities “good neighbors?”
As with any community, neighborhood issues can occur and can be quickly addressed by bringing them to the attention of the onsite staff, which every Jamboree project requires. Unlike many other rental communities, onsite staff has specific expertise and is committed to being good neighbors. Jamboree, as a community developer, takes a long-term interest in the neighborhoods where our communities are located and will own the property for at least 55 years. It is in Jamboree’s own best interest to keep the property properly maintained and operated.
Does parking in the neighborhood become an issue?
Onsite parking is provided to the residents based on local municipal parking codes for multifamily communities.
Are residents able to be evicted?
Residents can be evicted if they do not pay rent or are in violation of their lease. However, onsite staff works closely with managers and service providers to make every effort to ensure the stability of the residents so that they do not return to homelessness.
Do residents have a lease?
Residents sign a lease and must abide by the lease terms and house rules, which are part of the lease.
Are criminals allowed to live in the units?
Criminal background checks are run on household members ages 18 and over to verify eligibility for residency. While a criminal background isn’t an automatic disqualification to housing, Jamboree does take criminal backgrounds seriously and work closely with our development partners to set criteria that are extremely cautious about tenant selection and approval.
Who is eligible to live in Permanent Supportive Housing and how are they selected?
Individuals who are coming from homelessness with a disabling condition are typically identified through outreach teams and put on a coordinated entry list to prioritize those with the most immediate needs. Sometimes, units are developed for a specific disability such as serious and persistent mental illness or a developmental disability.
What is the Coordinated Entry System (CES)?
Designed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to coordinate services and housing for the homeless, CES requires counties to adopt a standard assessment, prioritization and referral process with a focus to ensure fair and equal access to the services available in any given county. As a result, CES prioritizes the most vulnerable or at-risk homeless individuals or families for permanent housing placements first.
Does CES conduct background checks?
Criminal background checks are run on all household members ages 18 and over to verify eligibility for residency. While a criminal background isn’t an automatic disqualification for housing, Jamboree does take criminal backgrounds seriously and works closely with our development and property management partners to set criteria that are extremely conservative about tenant selection and approval. Registered sex offenders are not entitled to live at Jamboree properties per HUD rule 2012-28.
Who verifies eligibility for the units?
Eligibility is closely monitored by the funding agencies, e.g., a mental health disability is verified by the local health care agency. Financial and criminal background checks are also completed by the onsite managing agent as well as the agencies that provide the project funding.
Is there a limit to the number of individuals who live in each unit?
Yes, unit occupancy depends on the number of bedrooms in an apartment. Federal guidelines identify the maximum number of residents eligible to live in the unit as two per bedroom plus one, e.g., a one-bedroom unit has a limit of three household members.
Are pets allowed in Permanent Supportive Housing?
No. A typical Jamboree property does not allow pets. However, service and therapeutic animals often accompany residents in Permanent Supportive Housing. Professional verification of eligibility is required to have a service or therapeutic companion animal.
Do residents work?
Residents often work, particularly after they have been stably housed. However, since the typical resident has a disability and is receiving a disability income, they may be unable to work.
Do residents pay rent?
Yes, a typical resident pays 30 percent of their income in rent. Currently, disability income is approximately $900 a month. Therefore, the resident pays around $300 a month for rent.
Do residents pay for utilities?
Depending on the financing for the community, utilities are often included in the rent. This generally includes water, gas and electricity.
Does a person under the age of 18 live in Permanent Supportive Housing?
Typically, if a family member is under age 18, she/he can live with the eligible adult household member.
Why is Permanent Supportive Housing a “national best practice”?
Permanent Supportive Housing is a national best practice because it is proven to be extremely successful in keeping formerly homeless disabled residents housed. National sources describe various retention rates, with some reporting that 85 percent of residents remain stably housed. In Jamboree’s own portfolio, we have seen that more than 90 percent of our residents remain stably housed and most live in our apartment communities for an average of at least five years.