ABQ Journal article
Resolution-Accepted with a recommendation of"Do Pass" on 08.20.18
AANM's motions passed by the GAC 08.28.18
Proposed changes - Public hearing September 17th
Substitute version -as of 09.07.18
Proposed to the FGO Committee on August 6th - Postposed as substituted 08.20.18
A new research report by the Urban Institute, which highlights, in their words, “the largest and most comprehensive” fair housing testing conducted on the issue of voucher acceptance among owners. In their analysis of the data, the Institute concludes that “searching for housing with vouchers is time-consuming and frustrating. Many searches turn up short, and many landlords do not accept vouchers.” While the full study, which was sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be released in September, an initial report of the findings is available now on the Institute’s website.
NAA anticipates increased media attention and calls for policy changes to result, namely making “source of income” (SOI) a protected class in state and local fair housing laws. SOI is generally defined to include housing assistance funds, effectively mandating rental housing providers’ participation in the Section 8 Voucher Program.
While the conclusions reached in the study are localized by city (Ft. Worth, Texas; Newark, N.J.; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.), NAA anticipate wider coverage on the study nationwide.
The profile of this issue will rise in many jurisdictions as the housing affordability crisis gains more public attention. It is important that all of us in the rental housing industry be prepared to engage in the debate and shut down any opportunistic narrative-building around such an emotional and complex topic.
In August, NAA launched a campaign to generate NAA member participation in a rulemaking by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on its “Disparate Impact” rule. As the industry experts that you are, you know what is at stake. Succinctly put though, at issue for apartment owners and managers is that seemingly neutral and common business policies, such as occupancy limitations, criminal background screening and Section 8 voucher policies, among others, could trigger discrimination claims despite no intention of singling out a particular group for adverse treatment.
A grassroots alert was sent to over 40,000 NAA members allowing them to send a message directly to HUD, facilitated by our Advocacy Alert system—with total comments currently numbered at 746 so far. To demonstrate broad industry concern with the rule, NAA also requested that all AEs submit personalized letters to HUD, on letterhead.
Open comment period ended August 20th. A copy of AANM’s letter can be viewed here.