Oregon lawmakers are pushing forward a measure that would prohibit landlords from rejecting prospective tenants who are on government assistance.
A proponent of the bill, who is from Portland, says she is worried that Section 8 and other government program recipients are being segregated into specific parts of that city.
Source of income is already a protected class in Oregon. However, this measure would go further by denying the current exception for recipients of Section 8 vouchers.
An exception remains if income is from an illegal source.
If the bill passes, Oregon landlords would be prohibited from a “no Section 8” policy. Landlords would still be allowed to run routine tenant screening reports. A tenant could be rejected if “the amount of rent exceeds the income of the prospective renter” taking into account any and all eligible aid. Landlords could reject a tenant who is otherwise unsuitable based on rental history.
The bill directs the state’s housing authority to develop a program for landlords to mitigate damages to rental properties caused by tenants receiving assistance under the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program.
A growing number of states recognize source of income as a protected class relative to rental housing discrimination, and some already prohibit “no Section 8” policies. Landlords should be aware of their state’s policy before rejecting a rental applicant on that basis.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.