Interview Reveals Symbiotic Relationship
Helen Chapman has more than a dozen rental units scattered throughout District 69. This is how she makes a living, the revenue from these properties is important to her.
However, the relationship she has with local agencies like Island Crisis Care Society takes a lot of stress out of the tenant/landlord scenario and gives her the opportunity to help those who need it most.
“I like the fact that I’m providing housing for people who would otherwise have a hard time finding affordable housing,” says Chapman. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m a landlord who wants to make money. But I like that I’m doing a little for society as well.”
Five of Chapman’s units are currently occupied by people who work with agencies like Island Crisis Care or the Society of Organized Services through the local HOST program. These renters enter into agreements with the agencies and in turn, the agencies work with Chapman.
Taking advantage of local fundraising, government grants, and whatever the client brings to the table for money (income assistance for example), the agency deals directly with Chapman, paying the rent and sorting out any issues that arise.
“There’s a third party involved in the relationship who helps resolve issues,” explains Chapman. “And they do it in a manner that it gets resolved and doesn’t get people upset. The agencies take care of all of that. The renters are vetted. And if the people want to get help they play by the rules.”
Chapman says she has had problems in the past renting to people on a low income. She also says she has not experienced any problems with renters who are linked with local agencies through the HOST program.
She says there are other advantages to dealing with local agencies when she has a vacancy. Have you ever tried to rent an apartment by listing it online?
“It causes a tsunami of phone calls, texts and emails, literally 100 people in just minutes,” says Chapman.
This relationship with local agencies has really worked well for Chapman.
“Being a landlord in BC is a stressful experience,” says Chapman. “This program has taken some of the anxiety out of it.”
Chapman was asked what she thought of the proposal for a supportive housing facility on Corfield Street in Parksville, which would be staffed and operated by Island Crisis Care Society.
“These people (potential tenants at Corfield) will be well vetted and I’ve had no problems with any of those (Island Crisis Care Society-linked) tenants,” says Chapman. “Those NIMBY people drive me crazy – I think they have it all wrong.”
For more information about the Oceanside HOST team visit the information page here: https://oceansidehomelessness.com/host-team/