The city of Wichita’s housing department has a problem. It has plenty of people in its affordable housing voucher programs right now, around 800 according to housing director Sally Stang.

The problem is not enough landlords willing to work with those clients. She says they have "had several landlords sell their properties to out-of-state owners who are just coming in and saying, we don't do assistance programs.” About 14 apartment complexes have dropped out in the last 6 months.

On Tuesday the Wichita city council passed a new incentive program to try to address the issue. Stang says the program will pay out "$1,000 in a one-time payment to any new landlord who's never participated in the program before, a $500 incentive for a landlord that participated in the past, but hasn't in the last six months and comes back, those are available with our first lease up and then it's a $250 bonus signing bonus for each tenancy.“

The city will use 250 thousand dollars in federal funds to cover the incentives, which are only expected to be needed for the next year or two until the housing market loosens up.

Mayor Brandon Whipple says the goal of the incentives is to use it to convince more hesitant landlords that it's worth it to participate in a voucher program. "To build those relationships and to really kind of turn around I think some of that bias against folks with vouchers to show that these are normal folks who are just want a place to stay”

The program is expected to be up and running fairly quickly. If you’re a landlord wanting to learn more or take part, you can call the housing office at (3160 462-3700.