CLEVELAND, OH – County executive Armond Budish on Wednesday announced a plan to give low-income tenants more choice as to where they want to live in Cuyahoga County.
Its legislation – which will soon be presented to county council – would prohibit landlords from denying tenants housing based on their source of income and financially reward landlords who accept low-income housing vouchers.
The legislation is important, Budish said, to protect Ohio’s more than 229,000 households using federal housing vouchers to pay their rent through Section 8, state assistance, social security, or payments ordered by the tribunal.
“The tenant could pass all required background and credit checks. This would still be denied on the simple basis of their source of payment, ”Budish said at a press briefing on Wednesday. “Anyone with government or private sources of payment should be protected against discrimination when applying to rent a house or apartment in Cuyahoga County. “
Cleveland City Council is currently considering comparable legislation designed to prevent evictions and give more options to tenants who have federally subsidized housing vouchers. Akron City Council passed a similar law earlier this year.
Budish’s new legislation would allow tenants to use various sources of income to pay their rent and landlords could not refuse them. Those who believe they have been discriminated against can file a complaint with the county Human Rights Commission.
His plan would also encourage landlords to accept tenants using Section 8 housing vouchers by providing them with additional funding, which could include the tenant’s security deposit and up to two months’ rent.
The program is expected to help 1,400 families over a three-year period, he said.
“Residents should be able to choose where they want to live without having to worry about whether their source of payment will prevent them from making that choice,” Budish said.
More information on the program will be announced in the coming months, he said.