Stockton proposes landlord fund to encourage renting to the homeless

A new program in Stockton could get hundreds of homeless off the streets.

60-year-old Bobbie Nakaooka lives in a tent on a Stockton sidewalk.

“I don’t have much here. Only my clothes and my belongings right here," Nakaooka said, showing us what's inside her tent.

She lost a temp job at a food distribution plant in Stockton and has been without work for 3 years.

“This is not really a home," Nakaooka said. "They steal from you and take their belongings." 

Now as an incentive for landlords to rent to homeless who have vouchers to pay for rent, Mayor Michael Tubbs is proposing a $50,000 city fund that would provide cash for landlords in case of property damage, lost rent or lengthy evictions.

The Stockton City Council is to vote on the proposal Tuesday night. 

“It’s a little bit of a tough sell given the way the market is," Tubbs said. "In some cases the vouchers are not exactly up to market rate so there is some work we have to do there. And then often times there are misconceptions about who these people are."

In the city’s last homeless count in January was over 300. But, it’s believed there are many more who are uncounted for.

“We believe it will help. Say to the landlords, 'We will help reduce your risk when you make a unit available to this population,'" said Bill Mendelson, executive director for the Central Valley Low Income Housing Corporation.

Curtis Edmond and wife Krista were homeless for six months.

As an Army veteran, Edmond had a veterans affairs housing voucher and was finally able to get into an apartment.

How big a difference has it has made in his life?

“It’s the difference between life and death," Edmond said.

Now on a waiting list for housing, Bobbie Nakaooka hopes she can work once again as a fork lift driver and have a place of her own too.

“All I want is shelter and food," Nakaooka said. "That’s all I want."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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