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Councilmember Seeks to End Section 8 Discrimination

Information on the Source of Income Discrimination Ordinance

Councilmember Gómez Proposes Ordinance Protecting Section 8 Voucher Holders

CM Gómez speaking on SOIDOOn June 27, Councilmember Georgette Gómez introduced her Source of Income Discrimination Ordinance to the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. The ordinance bars landlords and property managers from discriminating against applicants simply because they receive a Section 8 rental voucher.

Councilmember Georgette Gómez said, “Our City has a responsibility to ensure all San Diegans have access to housing opportunities throughout the City. Protecting our families on Section 8 from discrimination is important for reducing undue barriers in an already tight rental market.”

In San Diego, over 15,000 low-income households receive Section 8 rental assistance. The proposed ordinance protects these families by banning all source of income discrimination, including Section 8, rapid rehousing, VASH, and other rent subsidies.

The development of the ordinance was prompted after the Penasquitos Village/Pacific Village housing development project that displaced 332 households, including 149 Section 8 families. These families experienced significant difficulties in locating new housing that would accommodate their voucher.

Committee Consultant, Keryna Johnson, explained, “We are asking all landlords give Section 8 tenants an opportunity to be considered, and to evaluate them in the same way as someone who doesn’t have Section 8. Landlords will still have the ability to use their rental criteria to screen the voucher holders like all other tenants, but can’t say no simply because of their voucher. By continuing to work with various stakeholders and the Housing Commission, our office believes we can make the process mutually beneficial for both landlords and tenants.”

The Committee voted 2-2 to have the ordinance go to the full City Council for consideration on July 31.

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