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Why Don’t Landlords Take Section 8? HUD Asks

A report from the Urban Institute found many landlords reject Section 8 vouchers before ever meeting their recipients. 
A report from the Urban Institute found many landlords reject Section 8 vouchers before ever meeting their recipients. 
Credit Robert Ray / Associated Press

The nation’s housing agency wants to know why more landlords aren’t accepting Section 8 vouchers.

A recent report from the Urban Institute found many landlords reject the government funded rent subsidies before ever meeting their recipients.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has held listening sessions around the country where landlords can share their concerns with the program.

So far, in Atlanta, Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett said one issue she’s heard about is red tape.

“There are a number of rules and regulations that they’d like to see, well, loosened or changed in order to bring about more of an ease to do the Housing Choice Vouchers,” she said.

Cleveland-Leggett said the federal agency will use the feedback to come up with new policies.

At the local level, some cities and states have come up with their own policies in response to landlords turning away Section 8 tenants.

They include laws that make it illegal to discriminate against tenants because of their source of income.

Cleveland-Leggett said she doesn’t expect that to be a solution that HUD and its secretary, Ben Carson, would support.

“We are never in favor of forcing people to do it but we want to make it such that it is an attractive proposition for them to partner with us,” she said.

Landlords who did not make it to the Atlanta listening session can share their feedback by emailing HCV@firstpic.org.