Housing Choice Act Takes Effect That Adds Protections Opportunity for Families Support

center_img A state law to promote affordable housing choices goes into complete effect this week.  House Bill 2639, the Housing Choice Act, which passed during the 2013 Legislative Session, created protections for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher holders and established the Housing Choice Landlord Guarantee program. The bill was designed to increase opportunities for families struggling to make ends meet, while improving supports for participating landlords. Today, landlords are no longer able to deny a rental applicant solely on the basis that a Section 8 voucher is their source of income to pay for housing.  “Secure, stable housing is one of the most important tools for a family struggling to get ahead,” said Kotek. “The Housing Choice Act will help parents get the footing they need to find and keep a job, and give children the sense of continuity that helps them succeed at school.” The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is a federal program designed to help struggling families and individuals find and afford housing on the private market. The program is administered by local housing authorities. The Housing Choice Act addresses problems with the program that led to discrimination against voucher holders and too few families able to find appropriate housing.  “Beginning today, Oregon is removing a major barrier to struggling families’ economic success,” said Sybil Hebb, Director of Policy Advocacy at the Oregon Law Center.   The law also provides improved financial assistance to participating landlords to mitigate unreimbursed damages caused by tenants.  Landlords may seek reimbursement for damages, if any, caused by a Section 8 tenant, up to a $5,000 cap. “This is the result of collaboration to improve the voucher program for everyone involved,” said Jim Straub, Legislative Director for the Oregon Rental Housing Association.  “Landlords should make sure they have the information needed to make the most of the new tools available to them.” “There are a number of new resources for landlords,” said Janet Byrd of Neighborhood Partnerships. “This law is a win-win for tenants and landlords.” Landlords requiring additional information on the Housing Choice Act should contact their local housing authority. Pinterest LinkedIn Email on July 3, 2014 Facebooklast_img read more

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