Fair Housing Advocates Sue Texas Governor Over Housing Voucher Law
A lawsuit filed in Dallas Federal Court is challenging a two-year old law adopted by the Texas Legislature that prohibits cities from requiring landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers. Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News reports that the lawsuit, filed by the Dallas-nonprofit Inclusive Communities Project, arose in response to an attempt by the Dallas City Council to pass an ordinance last Fall blocking "source of income discrimination." The council action was required as part of a settlement with HUD over discrimination complaints. However, the ordinance was preempted by the actions of the legislature.
[Per the lawsuit]: state law "explicitly permits multifamily landlords to deny housing to voucher families who can pay the rent, satisfy the tenant selection criteria, and for whom there are no legitimate business reasons not to accept as tenants. By permitting the multifamily landlords in white areas to discriminate solely on the basis of participation in the voucher program, the statute excludes the predominantly black voucher households from white areas."
Inclusive Communities Project notes that of those receiving housing vouchers from the Dallas Housing Authority, 86 percent are black.