KC's Mandated Section 8 Voucher Acceptance Will Raise Housing Costs

 The new Anti-income discrimination ordinance passed by KC last month has a loophole provision. It requires landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers or face a $1000 fine. The ordinance does not require landlords to accept vouchers that do not cover the total amount of rent. So it may be possible to avoid liability by just raising rents to levels that the KC housing authority would never approve. Generally, Section 8 allotments are capped at a certain level depending on the

beneficiaries' income. Across the board, the KC HA never approves subsidies for more than $2000 for a three-bedroom.  Some landlords who are reluctant to rent to voucher holders may choose to raise the rent as a way to effectively deter such tenants without directly violating the ordinance. By increasing the rental price, landlords can make it less financially feasible for voucher holders whose vouchers may not cover the full rental amount. But this would affect everyone else as well. This strategy allows landlords to avoid renting to voucher holders without explicitly refusing them based on their source of income, thus circumventing the requirements of the ordinance. In Sum, an ordinance that was meant to reduce the burden of finding housing for low-income residents will ironically make it harder.

Feb 8, 2024 — Kansas City's coming source-of-income discrimination ban also prohibits landlords from rejecting applicants solely based on their credit score, ...


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