Denver requires landlords to accept Section 8 housing vouchers, and some Democrats want to expand the law statewide.
Many landlords outside of Denver refuse to accept vouchers in the midst of a booming housing market across Colorado, reports the Denver Post — a practice that some legislators would like to abolish.
“There is no reason not to allow folks to live in your facility, and there’s no reason for the state to continue to allow this form of discrimination,” said Democratic state Rep. Leslie Herod, who plans on pushing the reform, to the Post.
House Bill 18-1432, which lost in 2018, would have added discrimination based on source of income as a type of unfair housing practice, thus blocking landlords from refusing to rent to those with housing vouchers.
With more Democrats in the House than last year, Herod thinks the movement could be successful this time.
Some landlords have expressed increased difficulty when serving Section 8 renters, citing hurdles when recovering money for property damage due to legal protections on voucher funds.
“The question is, how does the landlord get repaid for that damage?” said property owner Teo Nicolais to the Post. “I have personally experienced the problem of someone causing over $10,000 of damage to my property. They broke every single door. They actually broke the tub, which was weird.”
Potential renters would like to see fewer barriers to using their vouchers across Colorado.
“I think there need to be standards, at least the state level, where people know what to expect," said Royla Rice, who currently rents using her voucher in Colorado Springs after facing a long journey to find housing.
"The rules and process are different for whatever city,” she said. “It needs to be people-focused instead of checking a checklist, a bureaucratic checklist.”