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New legislation would ban landlords from denying housing based on income source


New legislation in the state house would ban landlords from denying someone housing based on where a renter’s income comes from.

Specifically, the bill would ban landlords from denying someone housing because they receive public assistance, veterans benefits, or social security.

Democratic State Representative Yousef Rabhi sponsored the legislation. He said landlords are cautious about renting to people who receive public assistance.

“Even though folks with section eight vouchers or other types of public assistance have that regular source of income that they can support their rent payments with.”

Rabhi said he believes the bill would create a level playing field and fairness for everybody.

“There’s so many communities out there where we need to increase access to the housing that we have in our state,” he said.

Rabhi points out that housing insecurity is linked to a variety of mental and physical health issues.

“And this is also about housing justice. It’s about making sure we have a just and equitable system that ensures everyone has access to a roof over their heads which should be, in my opinion, a fundamental human right.”

Rabhi said it remains to be seen whether the measure has enough support to get a hearing or pass.

But, he said, ultimately he wants to start a discussion about housing.