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Denver councilwoman crafts bill to end ‘discrimination’ via rent-voucher refusal

Author: Adam McCoy - July 2, 2018 - Updated: July 2, 2018

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The ballpark neighborhood of Denver in “LoDo.” (Photo by Sparty1711, istockphoto)

As Denverites increasingly struggle to keep up with surging housing costs, the city has launched programs like rent assistance to help bridge the gap.

But little good it does when landlords won’t accept payment through city assistance programs.

A Denver City Council member wants to address through a new measure what she calls discrimination, Denverite reports.

As the online publication notes, it’s difficult to obtain assistance through the Denver Housing Authority’s lottery-based Section 8 rent voucher system, which offers assistance up to fair-market rent. Residents often end up sacrificing their assistance because they can’t find a landlord who will accept it. Reports Denverite:

Councilwoman At-large Robin Kniech’s new bill, introduced today, would require Denver landlords to accept all forms of payment, including vouchers, ending what she describes as a form of discrimination. It would not apply to owner-occupied duplexes and single-family homes, but it would apply to for-rent houses.

“This policy is about someone who can afford an apartment …. but, ‘I’m turned away because of how I’m paying,’” Kniech said at a city meeting on Thursday. “This is about stopping discrimination.”

Under Kniech’s measure, would-be renters would be required to file a complaint within a month of an incident and, in turn, a landlord would have a month to respond. Consequences range from an order to end discriminatory practices to a $5,000 fine or order to pay damages like the cost of hotel stay.

Read Denverite’s full report here.

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy covers Denver-area politics for Colorado Politics.