Baltimore May Bar Landlords from Rejecting Section 8 Tenants

Commentary & Community

Baltimore May Bar Landlords from Rejecting Section 8 Tenants

If a potential renter approaches a Baltimore landlord with Section 8 voucher, that person can be turned away. The city council may soon make this illegal.


Under a bill supported by a majority of city council members, Baltimore landlords could not discriminate against potential renters based on how someone pays his or her rent. While this would apply to any payment method, the intention is to prevent what some see as discrimination against Section 8 voucher holders.


Proponents of this law argue that there is an affordable housing crisis, so this requirement would make it easier for people to find homes. They say that landlords should not be able to discriminate against someone merely because they think that people with Section 8 vouchers would make bad tenants. Opponents of the mandate argue that landlords should have the freedom to choose their tenants. They say that accepting Section 8 vouchers poses a variety of problems and that the issues are not with the tenants but with these other complications.


The Baltimore bill has yet to receive a vote, but it is cosponsored by enough city council members to pass. Fifteen states and a variety of local governments have similar mandates that landlords must take all types of payment that renters offer. Maryland does not have such legislation, although a bill to impose such a mandate did pass one house of the General Assembly in 2017.


Do you think that landlords should be forced to accept tenants using Section 8 vouchers?

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