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2007-08-29 07:14:00

Questions and Answers About 'Section 8' Rental Housing

One of the recent applicants to our apartment community stated that she qualifies for Section 8 housing. I informed her that our company does not provide for Section 8 residents. She claimed that we were discriminating and said unless we accepted her, she would report us to fair housing. What are the laws regarding this issue?

Currently, in California, you are not engaging in illegal discrimination for turning down a Section 8 resident if you are not participating in the program. Section 8 housing is a HUD federally-subsidized program that pays for a portion of the qualified tenant's rent. While many owners and managers believe participation has many advantages, you are not required to accept Section 8 residents. This federal program also requires that the owner abide by federal rules and regulations including "just cause" evictions and other lease requirements.

We do not have any HUD housing. When a Section 8 applicant asks us if we accept HUD housing, what is the best answer?

Indicate to the applicant that the property "does not participate in any governmental assistance program at this time" but they are welcome to apply if they are willing to forego their subsidy. 

(LegalEase is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact the nearest office to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Kimball, Tirey & St. John makes no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to this information. Kimball, Tirey & St. John shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the use of any information herein contained.)

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