For low-income tenants, federal and local housing voucher programs like Section 8 can make the difference between housing stability and homelessness. Renters who receive rental assistance vouchers are disproportionately part of vulnerable populations, including people of color, people with disabilities, seniors, and people on fixed incomes. While 11 states prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters who receive housing voucher assistance, California isn't one of them.
Tenants Together volunteers & staff counsel renters facing Section 8 discrimination on our statewide hotline day in and day out. Landlords often target Section 8 renters for eviction in order to evade accountability, or simply reject rental applications from Section 8 voucher holders. Frequently, housing providers will blatantly state "No Section 8" on their rental listings. Section 8 discrimination has devastating consequences: in Los Angeles, nearly half of renters using Section 8 vouchers could not find housing before their voucher expired due to the widespread discrimination. No one should be denied a stable home because they use rental assistance to rent in an overpriced and extremely competitive housing market.
California State Senate Bill 329, sponsored by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to include Section 8 and other housing assistance vouchers within California’s prohibition on discrimination based on source of income. SB 329 passed the State Senate, and is now making its way through the Assembly.