Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) on Friday signed a new law condemned by housing advocates and city officials that would allow landlords to reject tenants who receive Section 8 coupons to help them pay rent.
The bill, passed in both chambers at the Republican-controlled Iowa General Assembly in March, prohibits counties from passing laws that would prohibit a landlord from “refusing to rent or rent a housing unit to a person because of the person’s use of a federal house. voucher issued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. ”
The measure, which takes effect January 1
Reynolds announced the signing Friday, though she did not comment further on the law that Des Moines Register.
According to data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), tenants of approx. 20,000 housing units in Iowa use federal coupons, with the average household income for participants at $ 12,577 per capita. year.
Landlords supported the law with the Iowa Landlords Association Executive Director Andrew Lietzow told the registry: “We try to train our members about the benefits of accepting section 8 or housing election coupons, but we prefer it to remain a voluntary program.”
Landlord groups have claimed that the coupons contain several requirements that have become barriers for landlords, including additional inspections and challenges in recovering the money spent on repairing property damage.
Homeowners and city officials, however, have pushed back against the law, arguing that it will disproportionately harm people of color and residents with disabilities who make up a large percentage of coupon holders in Iowa.
Des Moines Community Development Director Chris Johansen told the Registry: “When you reduce the number of landlords willing to accept the coupon, it just creates another hurdle for … our most vulnerable population we have.”
Iowa law has also received national condemnation with the HUD secretary Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeOhio puts special election as a replacement for retired rep. Steve Stiver’s Democrats are demanding that the Biden administration reopen the probe to Tamir Rice’s death. Administration withdraws Trump-era proposal to loosen protection for transgender homeless MORE suggests in an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid in March that the measure could be the subject of a federal government lawsuit.
“It’s a discussion that I’ll have to have with the Department of Justice, but I definitely want to believe that we have our right to demand that these communities cooperate with what we do,” Fudge told MSNBC at the time. and added that “fair housing is the law of the land.”
“If they want to get into a fight about it, we are ready to fight them about it,” she said.