Los Angeles May Bar Source-of-Income Housing Discrimination
Los Angeles City Council's Housing Committee has sent forward a proposal to prohibit landlords from refusing to rent to applicants who pay through a housing voucher program like Section 8.
"Today, nearly half of the people who get a Section 8 voucher in L.A. will end up losing it because they can't find anyone who will rent to them," David Wagner reports for LAist.
It can take years just to get on the waitlist for a voucher, let alone to actually get one. But once a voucher is issued, tenants have just six months to find a landlord who will accept it and a place that is up to code. That search can be "a full time job," as one tenant put it—and if it doesn’t work out, it can result in homelessness.
Research has shown that banning source-of-income discrimination works: The Urban Institute found that in Los Angeles, 76 percent of landlords refuse to take vouchers. But in Washington, D.C., where protections are in place, that number is at just 15 percent.
Other California cities, including Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and San Diego, already ban source-of-income discrimination. Similar proposals are being considered in the county of Los Angeles and at the state level.