Frequently Asked Questions

How would you briefly describe LLSBC?

LLSBC or the Landlord Liaison Santa Barbara County is a collaboration between landlords/property managers, social service agencies and homeless people that are ready to be successfully housed in Santa Barbara County. Landlords agree to alternative screening criteria and in exchange, they receive financial safeguards and ongoing support systems while the tenants are case managed and supported to ensure successful tenancy.

What is the difference between LLSBC and other programs like Section 8?

LLSBC is new to Santa Barbara County and it is uniquely designed to appeal to private property owners. Some of the unique features of LLSBC are:

  • It only works with homeless people that are ready to be successfully housed
  • LLSBC focuses on homeless veterans and children/families
  • All of its clients receive case management services to ensure success
  • Landlord’s risks are minimized since LLSBC will pay for damages, lost rent and court/mediation costs up to $2,500 (above the tenant’s security deposit)
  • LLSBC has a 24/7 hotline to rapidly respond to landlord’s questions and issues

Do fair housing laws allow housing providers to participate in LLSBC?

Yes. In fact, participating in LLSBC affirmatively furthers fair housing by:

  • Removing housing barriers for homeless individuals and families

Expanding housing opportunities for members of protected classes such as:

  • Domestic violence survivors
  • Families with children
  • People with disabilities
  • Veterans

Do fair housing laws allow housing providers to use alternative screening criteria for LLSBC clients?

Yes, often housing providers use strict screening criteria to establish an applicant’s eligibility and be sure that the tenant can and will:

  • Pay rent on time
  • Care for the property
  • Be good neighbors

Fair housing laws allow the use of alternative screening criteria to establish eligibility. For example, a landlord may agree to use alternative screening criteria for tenants who will be participating in support services during their tenancy. Such support services can reassure the housing provider that the rent will be paid, the property will not be damaged and the lease will be followed. So, with LLSBC, the housing provider may use alternative screening criteria instead of strict standardized criteria.

Note: Both Legal Aid and California Rural Legal Assistance have reviewed and approved the above as regards to LLSBC and fair housing laws.

How does a landlord participate in LLSBC?

Contact us to get the process started. A Tenancy Requirement Form and an LLSBC contract will need to be completed and signed. Let us know when you have an available unit and we will connect you with a suitable client and the social service agency that they are working with.

How does a social service agency get involved in LLSBC?

Social service agencies must be able to provide case management services in order to participate in LLSBC. If so, then LLSBC will train them on the program. Agencies then send client application to LLSBC for approval. If approved, LLSBC will try to find housing for their client and connect them with the landlord.

How does a homeless person participate in LLSBC?

Clients must be aligned with a social service agency and the contact is made by the agency. LLSBC does not accept self-referrals.

Can LLSBC really make a difference in Santa Barbara County?

It will take a community effort but for several reasons, LLSBC provides the opportunity to significantly impact homelessness in the county. First, housing is scarce in the county and 90% of the rental units are privately owned. Big changes can happen if there is more access to privately owned units. Second, based on Seattle’s results, a lot more homeless people may get housed through LLSBC. Third, LLSBC works with the homeless that are ready to make it on their own so the odds of success for the program are greater. By housing the homeless sooner, we can prevent them from bigger issues for themselves and the community.