Today, Councilmember Georgette Gómez will introduce the Source of Income Discrimination Ordinance to the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. The ordinance bars landlords and property managers from discriminating against applicants simply because they receive Section 8 rental voucher.
“Our City has a responsibility to ensure all San Diegans have access to housing opportunities throughout the City,” Councilmember Georgette Gómez said. “Protecting our families on Section 8 from discrimination is important for reducing undue barriers in an already tight rental market.”
In San Diego, over 15,000 low-income households receive Section 8 rental assistance. The proposed ordinance protects these families by banning all source of income discrimination, including rental assistance and housing subsidy.
The development of the ordinance was prompted after the Penasquitos Village/Pacific Village housing development project that displaced 332 households, including 149 Section 8 families. These families experienced significant difficulties in locating new housing that would accommodate their voucher.
“We are asking all landlords give Section 8 tenants an opportunity to be considered, and to evaluate them in the same way as someone who doesn’t have Section 8,” Committee Consultant Keryna Johnson said.“Landlords will still have the ability to use their rental criteria to screen the voucher holders like all other tenants, but can’t say no simply because of their voucher. By continuing to work with various stakeholders and the Housing Commission, our office believes we can make the process mutually beneficial for both landlords and tenants.”
After today’s hearing at 2 p.m., the ordinance will go to the full City Council for consideration in July.
—Office of Councilmember Georgette Gómez. Councilmember Gómez represents the Ninth Council District of the City of San Diego, which includes the communities of Alvarado Estates, City Heights, College Area, College View Estates, El Cerrito, Kensington, Mesa Colony, Mountain View, Mt. Hope, Rolando, Southcrest, and Talmadge.
Sara is the editor of San Diego Uptown News.