WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The City of Wichita is working to get more people off the streets. That’s why it launched the Landlord Incentive Program at the beginning of 2023.

Sally Stang is the director of housing and community services for the City of Wichita. She says the problem isn’t necessarily a lack of housing assistance vouchers but a lack of housing for people to use those vouchers.

“Much of that was driven by the market,” Stang said. “Rents have increased significantly, there was increased demand, landlords were choosing to take a market price tenant over an assisted tenant, less paperwork, etc.”

The Wichita Housing Authority Landlord Incentive Program gives bonuses to landlords who lease tenants with a housing assistance voucher. It also compensates for any damages or unpaid rent.

Josephine and Dharmendra Sagar are participating in WHALIP and have participated in similar programs in the past.

“I hope people will take advantage of this and allow more people to move in,” Josephine Sagar said.

For them, it hits home.

“Coming from a very poverty-stricken home back in Fiji islands, I think every individual has the right to have better housing,” Dharmendra said.

The Sagars encourage others to take advantage of the program.

“It’s a good initiative that in this program, the landlord is saved by the city,” Josephine said.

But, it’s more than the incentives that drive them to open their homes up to low-income tenants. They say it feels good to help others.

Ultimately, Stang says this keeps families off the streets.

“Families have been challenged especially through COVID, and we’re seeing upticks in utilization in our homeless services across the city, and the more families that are successfully leasing up with the voucher they qualify for, secures that they don’t enter homelessness,” Stang said.

For information on how landlords can get involved, click here.

Wichitans can apply for housing assistance here.