See How Landlords Pack Section 8 Renters Into Poorer Neighborhoods, Kriston Capps, CityLab, January 9, 2019, available here
Where to live is one of the most important decisions the leader of a household has to make. But for the most vulnerable families in the nation, there really isn’t any choice at all.
Families with children who receive federal housing aid often live in neighborhoods with higher levels of poverty and lower opportunity. The decision’s just not up to them. Landlords decide. Specifically, landlords who refuse to rent to tenants that use Housing Choice Vouchers, via a federal program more commonly known as Section 8, have great sway over outcomes for these families.
There’s a bill before Congress that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters based on the source of their income, a cause that is already finding purchase (both for and against) at the city and state level. The problem warrants federal action: Discrimination against voucher holders exacts a heavy toll on cities. The biases of landlords are shaping inequality across the country.