Los Angeles County is hoping to encourage landlords to lease entire apartment buildings to homeless individuals holding rental subsidies, with the Board of Supervisors committing $10 million in incentives over five years.

As the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority sought to rapidly house thousands of homeless individuals most vulnerable to COVID-19, the county and city of Los Angeles stepped up to fund 5,500 rental subsidies, among other strategies. But a shortage of available units persists, even with motel conversions, shared housing and other efforts to bring landlords on board.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl proposed the new program.

“It’s only homes that end homelessness,” Kuehl said.

She said many apartment building owners have approached LAHSA or housing services providers with the idea of leasing up an entire building, but providers have not been willing to commit to pay property management expenses under current contracts.

The county’s new incentive program will cover the costs of property management, repairs, maintenance and vacancies for landlords who agreed to offer more affordable rents.

The hope is that the $10 million will allow LAHSA to quickly scale up the inventory of available units and place individuals with rent subsidies into new homes.