Stop Discriminating Against Renters Based on Income

Target: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

Goal: Force landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers.

When it comes to housing, most landlords from middle or upper class areas don’t accept Section 8 vouchers, defeating the entire purpose of the government endeavor. Poverty is still hugely tied to race in America and neighborhoods still discriminate. If the rent is going to be covered and the person in question shows a drive to better their situation, why do so many landlords continue to completely disregard Section 8 vouchers? These vouchers allow the renter in question to put a consistent percentage of their income towards rent, while the government covers the rest. Not accepting Section 8 vouchers traps people in bad neighborhoods. What is the point of even having the vouchers if landlords refuse to accept them? At-risk families will continue to be trapped in bad neighborhoods and the cycle will never end. Make more landlords accept Section 8 vouchers and end income discrimination.

The landlords deny Section 8 vouchers because they are worried about certain unsavory behaviors associated with poverty, but a willingness to even consider the vouchers would go a long way. There are many reasons why families fall into poverty–lumping everyone together does no one any favors. One New York woman, a full-time accountant, graduate student, and mother of two, had to look for months for an apartment that would accept Section 8 vouchers. She almost didn’t find one in time because no one would consider her seriously once she mentioned Section 8. Poverty can affect everyone and where you live has a real effect on your future. People who are looking to leave a bad area are self selecting and landlords should at least consider allowing them to rent. Ask Congress to draft a bill requiring landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers.


Dear Speaker Ryan,

Please don’t allow landlords to discount all people who need housing help from the government. If they are receiving their rent money on time, then why should it matter where it comes from? Just give people a chance. Plenty of people cannot afford to live in good neighborhoods in expensive cities; not being able to pay almost two thousand dollars in rent every month is not a character flaw. It doesn’t mean that they will be destructive or best friends with drug dealers, and assuming that everyone who has Section 8 vouchers is a bad renter is discriminatory. Many are single mothers who desperately want their children to grow up in good areas.

It’s embarrassing not to be able to make rent, and it’s embarrassing having to ask the government for assistance. Plenty of people facing poverty want to pay the rent. Don’t make poverty worse by not considering people with Section 8 vouchers. If they want to move out of the bad neighborhoods, that in and of itself is a self-selection that should feature heavily on landlords’ consideration of them. Please require more landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers by drafting a bill.


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Photo credit: NY

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