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January 20, 2020

Arlington landlords should fully accept HUD and county rental housing vouchers

Affordable Housing — @ 1:03 pm

The Arlington Tenant-Landlord Commission is considering asking the Arlington County Board to change the Arlington Human Rights Ordinance to ban landlords from refusing to accept government funded housing vouchers/grants for low income renters, the majority of whom are seniors and disabled persons.   Arlington Greens support HUD vouchers and expansion of county-funded housing grants as a means to expand affordable housing in Arlington for renters earning under 50%-area median income.

We encourage Arlington residents to attend the Wednesday, February 12 meeting of the Tenant-Landlord Commission, and speak in favor of this requiring landlords to accept government assistance to help low income renters.  The T-L Commission meeting begins at 7 pm at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Va (adjacent to Courthouse Metro), first floor Azalea Room.  https://commissions.arlingtonva.us/events/tenant-landlord-commission-meeting-5-2020-02-12/

The Greens sent the following letter of support:

To: Kellen M. MacBeth
Chair, Arlington Tenant-Landlord Commission

We support a recommendation from the T-L commission to the County Board recommending that the human rights ordinance be modified to require landlords to accept government housing grants and vouchers, whether from the Federal Government or the county.  This would rectify this discrimination against low income persons, most of whom are seniors and disabled persons.   The decision of some landlords today to refuse to accept such government funds that help low income renters in Arlington is de facto discrimination, and should be banned under our Arlington County human rights ordinance.

Wide spread acceptance by landlords across Arlington of housing grants and vouchers will allow tenants to rent across our county and provide tenants with more options for housing; it will also facilitate more housing grants be funded as a means to address our affordable housing problem.   If the county board choose to fund more housing grants, then there need to be landlords who will accept them.
A landlord needs to operate under our human rights ordinance that already bars discrimination today on the basis of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. and to this list of banned practices should be a landlords refusal to treat government housing assistance as just another form of income.   The landlord will be assured of payment from the government and will suffer no harm by receiving a government payment.   It is in our residents’ interests that landlords be barred from refusing to accept these government payments.
We look forward to supporting your recommendation with the County Board as well.

The Arlington Greens

Queens Court

 

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