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Benefits and Resources

Keys for Heroes

Landlord Incentive for Renting to Veterans


On Veterans Day 2015, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and partners launched Keys for Heroes, an effort to identify landlords willing to house Veterans in need. As stated by MDVA Commissioner Larry Shellito, "landlords are literally the key to bringing our Veterans all the way home." Today, MDVA and its partners in the Minnesota Homeless Veterans Registry have housed hundreds of Veterans facing homelessness, but still, too many Veterans face homelessness. Most of these Veterans have a reliable way to pay rent and services available to support stable tenancy. What they don't have is a place to call home. Significant resources have been invested in Minnesota's efforts to end Veteran homelessness, and providers are working together to efficiently identify Veterans and their needs, but the critical link to housing through landlords and housing developers is what will get us over the finish line.

The Problem

In late 2014 MDVA launched the Minnesota Homeless Veteran Registry, which identifies Veteran facing homelessness by name. When Veterans join the Registry, a team of housing and service providers convene to identify the best resources and housing options available to support that Veteran, and in some cases, their family. Every housing plan is tailored to the specific needs and interests of each Veteran.

Hundreds of Veterans and their families who joined the Registry have already been housed. However, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, there is a large number of Veterans who are still facing homelessness. Over one-third of Veterans on the Registry have funding sources in place to cover rent and needed services, but have not been able to find a landlord willing to give them a second chance.

The Solution

Keys for Heroes. Landlords rent vacant units to a homeless Veteran and receive fair market rent and the support of a network of services providers.

Benefits of Participating in this Effort

  • Guaranteed Rent: Paid through direct deposit (tenants are responsible for a small portion of the rent).
  • Control of Tenant Selection: Landlords can screen and select tenants to confirm compatibility.
  • Single Point of Contact: With a case manager for timely response to tenant and landlord concerns.
  • Partnership: The Keys for Heroes program provides support to both landlords and tenants to ensure a successful placement.

Are you a landlord, interested in renting vacant units to a Veteran? Call 1-888-LinkVet to join the movement.

Don't own units? Here's what you can do

  1. Talk to your landlord and other property owners you know about dedicating units to Veterans with housing vouchers.
  2. Remind anyone who knows a Veteran experiencing homelessness to connect that Veteran with housing by calling 1-888-LinkVet.
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