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Landlords cannot reject tenants for Section 8 vouchers


Landlords in Los Angeles would not be allowed to reject potential tenants because they have Section 8 vouchers under a proposal set to be considered by the Los Angeles City Council this week.

The potential ordinance would protect against “source-of-income” discrimination as many recipients of government housing vouchers have a hard time finding a landlord who will rent to them, according to a city report.

The report noted research conducted by the Urban Institute which found that people who use federal vouchers to help pay for their rent are denied housing by landlords at startling rates, but were substantially less in cities that have passed laws protecting people who receive such federal housing vouchers. Nine California cities, including Berkeley, San Diego and SantaMonica have such laws on the books.

According to the study, landlords denied renting to voucher recipients 76.4 percent of the time in Los Angeles.

The motion which calls for the new ordinance was introduced by Councilman Paul Krekorian, and said the California Fair Employment and Housing Act already prohibits discrimination based on “source of income,” but rental assistance, including Section 8 vouchers, is not considered an income source under FEHA.

The council is set to vote on having an ordinance drafted by the city attorney, which would have to come back for another vote.