- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2020

D.C. Council held a hearing Thursday on bills that would give housing voucher recipients money for rental application fees and prohibit landlords from denying rental applications from people who pay in part with vouchers.

“It is troubling that some landlords decide that people who acquire a voucher and rely on it as a source of income have been refused,” said Council member Anita Bonds, at-large Democrat, who chaired the hearing on the legislation in the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization.

The Local Rent Application Voucher Amendment Act of 2019 would provide those who qualify for the housing voucher program with money for up to five rental application and background check fees.

For those who have vouchers, the housing authority will pay 70% of the rent each month for as long as a person qualifies for the voucher and the renter pays the remaining 30%.

However, many landlords deny voucher recipients’ applications due to a lack of income to afford the unit and don’t consider the voucher.

The Rental Housing Source of Income Amendment Act of 2019 looks to remedy that by requiring landlords to include any rental assistance from the government as a part of the income qualifications for the application.

Nicole Odom, who uses a housing voucher now, testified at the hearing that these bills are “life savers for voucher holders.”

Ms. Odom said she applied to five different buildings before she was accepted, paying about $100 per application.

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