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Covington Offers $500 Bonuses in Search for More Section-8 Landlords

The City of Covington announced that it is offering $500 bonuses to landlords who sign a new lease through the city's Housing Choice Voucher Program.

About 126 low-income families in Covington are certified as potential tenants under what is commonly referred to as Section-8, but there are not enough landlords participating, said Kim Phillips, the city's Housing Choice Voucher Program coordinator.

Covington is tapping into money awarded to the city through the federal government's COVID-19 pandemic funds.

"COVID-19 has had a tremendous negative impact on our families, especially those who worked in the service industry," Phillips said. "We definitely have families who lost income and need assisted housing more than ever. Unfortunately, the pandemic has created an additional layer of difficulty to the already difficult challenge of finding landlords."

The leases must be new and not just transfers, she said.

Property owners who have questions or who would like to participate in the voucher program should call 859.292.2188.

Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith said there are many benefits for landlords to participate in the program, which increases accountability on the part of tenants and guarantees part of their rent.

"I know that historically, some landlords are concerned about leasing through the voucher program but I would encourage them to take another look," Smith said. "One of the biggest myths is that landlords are forced to accept so-called 'problem' tenants. They aren't. Landlords absolutely retain the right to screen a potential tenant in their normal manner, enforce their lease, and hold the voucher user to the same standards as any other tenant."

For more details about the voucher program and its advantages, see here.

-Staff report