Public comment heard on proposal to ban income-based housing discrimination
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It was a packed meeting room as the Social Services and Public Safety Committee of Lexington’s Urban County Council heard from renters and landlords with their thoughts on a possible ban on source of income discrimination.
“The stability that comes from having a decent place to live gives people hope and can keep our community together,” said Steve Katz, with ‘KY’ Tenants.
And advocates with GreenHouse 17 said it could give people in abusive relationships a chance to get out.
“For many of our clients, short term and long term vouchers are the only way to get families on their feet. To create safe homes for themselves and their children, sometimes for the first time ever.”
Advocates also said the ban would make it illegal for landlords to discriminate based on where rent is paid. But some landlords who spoke Tuesday night said they’re against the ordinance, and said they’ve had issues with the Section 8 program itself.
“My experience with the program itself was very poor. There would be huge delays with inspections,” said Zac Peterson, who said he works in real estate.
Some landlords said when they rent to those using vouchers they aren’t always paid on time. They also said landlords in Louisville, a city with a similar ordinance in place, have started raising rents at properties that are ineligible for voucher holders.
“You’re opening the door for us landlords to be sued for discrimination when the majority of landlords I know are just protecting their businesses,” said Chris Johnson, who said he’s a real estate investor.
This was just a meeting for the public to voice their concerns. The council committee did not take a vote at the meeting Tuesday.
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