Minneapolis could require landlords to accept Section 8 renters

Some call the ordinance fair. Others say it's intrusive.
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The City of Minneapolis is considering an ordinance that would require landlords to consider renters who are part of the Section 8 housing program.

Section 8 is a federal government program that helps low-income residents pay rent. Basically, the program takes into account the renter's income and housing needs. Then it pays a portion of the bill.

Currently, landlords can flat out say they won't consider Section 8 renters. This ordinance would change that.

Wednesday, the city held a public hearing to discuss both sides of the issue. And according to Twitter, the hearing was packed.

What both sides are saying

Those in favor of the ordinance say it would prevent discrimination and make it so that low-income residents aren't just limited to certain low-income neighborhoods, KARE 11 says.

Some people who rely on Section 8 say it's hard to find housing, too.

"Someone that uses a housing choice voucher should get a fair chance to be considered for an open spot at an apartment building,” says city council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden, according to FOX 9.

On the other side, some landlords say being part of the program is a giant hassle – from inspections and payments, to paperwork and other legalities. Some have called it an "intrusion to private business," Finance & Commerce reports.

“The problem owners have is that we have to sign a HAP contract, it's a federal contract that supersedes our leases,” landlord Cecil Smith says.

According to WCCO, landlords say they might even be forced to hike up prices so they don't qualify for the program.

What's next

Finance & Commerce says standing committees unanimously approved the ordinance Wednesday.

It will go on to the Minneapolis City Council Friday for a vote. If it passes, the ordinance will go into effect in May of 2018. So landlords would have a year to get things in order.

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