Newport Daily News: R.I. bills seek to bar discrimination against low-income renters
By Madeleine List | Journal Staff Writer
Posted: Jan 30, 2019 at 11:24 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2019 at 11:24 AM
Housing advocates gathered Tuesday at the State House to push for legislation that would prohibit landlords from turning away tenants who receive housing-assistance vouchers, or who have appeared in Housing Court.
The bill would outlaw the discrimination of any potential tenant on the basis of their lawful source of income, which could include federally funded housing assistance vouchers or other means of income, such as Social Security.
“Discrimination on the basis of income as relates to housing, as relates to anything, should not be tolerated in our great state,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo, who spoke briefly at the event.
More than 9,300 Rhode Islanders receive federally funded rental assistance through Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher Program, according to Rhode Island Housing, the state's housing finance agency.
Voucher recipients can use the funds to help pay rent at the apartment of their choice, but many people have trouble getting in the door once a landlord finds out that they receive rental assistance, said Amy Rainone, director of government relations and policy for Rhode Island Housing. This can be particularly discouraging for those who have spent years on a waiting list just to receive a voucher, she said.
Courtesy of Newport Daily News