Reinventing Rent

Reinventing Rent

Rent is cashing in on new trends in fintech and alternative, hybrid ownership models, forever changing the traditional tenant-landlord relationship.

The traditional rental model is being disrupted in a variety of ways:

    • Lease terms – Lease terms are becoming more flexbile, allowing for shorter term stays.
    • Space – Coliving shares the costs of renting a unit with several other roommates, while still providing some privacy.
    • Deposits – Fintech startups, such as Rhino, partner with building owners and managers to offer low-cost insurance as an alternative to cash security deposits.
    • Credit History – Ensusu works with both landlords and tenants to ensure rent payments are included in credit scores.
    • Rent-to-own – A rent-to-own agreement, in which you rent a home for a certain amount of time, with the option to buy it before the lease expires.

In the affordable housing space, local, state, and federal government agencies run a variety of rental assistance programs, which vary in how rent is paid to the landlord.

    • Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8 – The housing choice voucher program is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects.
    • HAP Contract – HUD provides Section 8 rental subsidies to the owners of certain mortgaged properties pursuant to a HAP Contract. The entity responsible for the administration of the Section 8 assistance pursuant to a particular HAP Contract is the designated “Contract Administrator”. There are two types of HAP contracts: housing choice vouchers (HCV) and project-based vouchers (PBV):
      • HCV is tenant-based assistance, which means that the subsidy is tied to the family, not the unit. Since tenant-based assistance is tied to the voucher holder, the assistance is portable, meaning it may be used within the jurisdiction where the family lives or within any jurisdiction with an HCV program.
      • PBV the subsidy is tied to the unit, not the family. An example of this type of assistance is public housing. After one year of assistance in a project-based unit, however, the family may switch to the tenant-based voucher program and exercise portability if they choose, with some restrictions.
    • Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) – California’s Housing and Community Development introduced HPRP; the rental assistance is available for eligible families: rental assistance, security deposits, utility deposits, utility assistance, moving cost assistance, and hotel/motel vouchers.
    • VASH – The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).



  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • PATH Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • Brilliant Corners Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • RxLA Housing Innovation Collaborative

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  • Rent reporting
    • Ensusu.
  • Rent to own models
  • Rental Subsidy
    • Lease Up – LeaseUp is a new program that helps landlords navigate the process of filling units with people in need of housing. LeaseUp partners property owners and property managers with housing non-profits. These organization offer resources including incentives and case management expertise in matching homeless clients with appropriate housing, and continuing to work with formerly homeless renters. The LeaseUp program is operated by People Assisting The Homeless – PATH.
      • A win-win-win: First and foremost, people who need housing will get housed. Non-profit agencies get connections to (and subsidies for) available housing units. Landlords get guaranteed rent and deposits through partner non-profits; the non-profits support placing renters, and provide ongoing case management.
    • Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool – The Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool is designed to secure quality affordable housing for LA County Department of Health Services (DHS) patients who are homeless. Initially started as an $18 million dollar fund, with $4 million from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
    • Brilliant Corners, the central coordinating community-based partner for the FHSP, works to secure a broad range of housing options, including single family homes, individual apartments, blocks of units or entire buildings. Brilliant Corners identifies and secures units County-wide; provides move-in assistance and rental subsidy disbursement; coordinates with case managers; and assists with landlord/ neighborhood relations.
    • FHSP Explainer (link).