Charlotte To Consider Fines for Housing Voucher Discrimination

A proposed policy would fine landlords who refuse to rent to voucher recipients, calling it “source of income discrimination.”

1 minute read

July 12, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Charlotte Housing Development

American Spirit / Shutterstock

In an effort to support housing voucher recipients who often have trouble finding housing, the Charlotte City Council will consider a policy that would fine developers hundreds of dollars if they refuse to rent to voucher holders, reports Genna Contino in The Charlotte Observer. 

“The policy was spearheaded by City Councilwoman Victoria Watlington, with the purpose of providing ‘opportunities for individuals and families to obtain safe, quality affordable housing,’ city documents read.” The policy would apply to “Any affordable housing developments that receive city-provided subsidy or financial incentives, including conveyance of real estate for the housing’s production,” and “Any market rate housing that received city infrastructure reimbursement incentives, Tax Increment Grants or capital-funded partnerships.”

“While Section 8 vouchers, also known as Housing Choice vouchers, provide additional support for the renter, 1 in 5 renters who get a voucher return it after failing to secure housing within the search period,” often due to discrimination by landlords. According to a 2018 Urban Institute study, tenants experience less discrimination in cities with legal protections in place for voucher recipients. If the policy passes ,Charlotte would be the first North Carolina city to implement protections for voucher recipients by banning “source of income discrimination.” 

Monday, July 11, 2022 in The Charlotte Observer

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