The Atlanta City Council approved historic legislation that will impact the city’s rental markets.
What We Know:
- The ordinance prohibits landlords from refusing to rent or sell a home based on the applicant’s source of income, including denying the acceptance of government vouchers.
- The measure passed on Monday by a 13-2 vote. Supporters say the law will help low-income Atlanta residents obtain affordable housing.
- According to the ordinance, 1,055 people lost their housing vouchers, also known as section 8, between July 2018 and July 2019 because the families could not find suitable housing.
- The city’s law department suggested an amendment to keep the ordinance from taking effect until the state approved a similar law. After an hour-long discussion in executive session with city attorneys, council members rejected that recommendation.
- According to a study by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the denial rate for voucher holders was substantially reduced for cities with similar types of legislation.
- District 3 Council Member Antonio Brown said, “Our laws already protect you from housing discrimination based on things like age, gender, and race. However, using a voucher as your source of income makes you just as much a potential victim of this kind discriminatory behavior. I think it’s critical that we codify that there’s no place for that in Atlanta.”
- District 2 Council Member Amir Farokhi, who co-sponsored the legislation, said, “I was proud to stand with Council Member Brown on this legislation. This is an important, tangible step forward on equitable housing access. Removing barriers to access for would-be renters and buyers allows our neighborhoods to be economically diverse, which is a foundation for economic mobility. Everyone deserves to share in the benefits of our city’s growth.”
- Families who use housing vouchers pay no more than 30% of their income toward the cost of an affordable housing unit. The rest is covered by federal government.
To read the new ordinance, click https://bit.ly/2SE6YNU.