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City of Tucson rental subsidy rule helping to house families

City says most landlords must accept subsidy payments
City of Tucson Section 8
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 05, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — There’s been a shortage of rental properties. It’s been even worse if you depend on government subsidies landlords are reluctant to accept. But now the City of Tucson is more than six months into enforcing a law that requires landlords to accept government payments and the city says the law has made a big difference.

A lot of people had trouble getting a decent place to rent because a government subsidy was covering at least part of their costs. Now about half a year since the city outlawed that sort of denial, people are having an easier time getting a decent roof over their heads.

Often people who can’t afford a place to live can get government subsidies to help, but some landlords refused to accept the government vouchers.

Fernando Moraga with Tucson Housing and Community Development said, “In the past people didn't want to use the government subsidiary program because of red tape or they just didn't want to have so many clients with that kind of background in their properties.”

But the City of Tucson passed a source of income ordinance saying landlords can not refuse to rent to someone who relies on income like government subsidies, alimony, child support or foster care subsidies.

Landlords can still refuse to rent based on criminal background checks and whether a prospective tenant is able to afford the rent.

Fernando Moraga says Tucson’s rule opened up so many properties, most of about six thousand families have found places to live. He added the number of landlords working with the city jumped from 166 to about 2200.

“I think that they're realizing that it's good for them. It's stable money. It's coming every single month. There's no hiccups or interruptions with that. It’s helping provide the community with some place to live, it's helping the homeless get off the streets and into housing. So I think it's benefiting all the way around.”

Moraga also said landlords have more incentive to keep their rentals in good condition so they can compete successfully with other landlords and attract tenants from the larger pool of people able to use subsidies to rent.

You can learn more about City of Tucson Housing programs at this link.