Charlotte Approves Protections for Housing Voucher Recipients

The city became the first in North Carolina to enact fines for landlords who fail to rent to recipients of federal housing vouchers.

1 minute read

August 25, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A new law in Charlotte, North Carolina offers protection to renters who use housing vouchers in city-funded developments, making it illegal for landlords to discriminate based on income. As Genna Contino reports for the Charlotte Observer (reposted in Governing), “Under the new policy, owners of city-supported housing approved in the future could receive thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to comply in a timely manner.” 

According to Contino, the policy is designed to reduce barriers for low-income renters, as “Charlotte severely lacks affordable housing — just 1 percent of apartments in Mecklenburg County rent for less than $1,000 per month.”

Under the new regulations, “Landlords and property owners will have to complete compliance training and have 30 days to cure the violation. If not cured in 30 days, the violator will pay the applicant denied housing $100 a day until the violation is cured or for 180 days, whichever comes first. If not cured in 180 days, the owner could pay the city up to $23,000.”

The law could have a significant impact. “A 2018 Urban Institute study commissioned by HUD shows widespread discrimination by landlords who refuse to accept vouchers. Tenants fared better in cities that had protections,” that study found.

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