Dayton proposes new ordinance regarding source of income for those seeking housing

DAYTON — The City of Dayton wants to stop what it thinks could be discrimination for people looking for housing who get housing assistance.

A new ordinance that will be discussed at Wednesday’s city commission meeting would widen anti-discrimination laws and keep landlords from discriminating against potential tenants based on their source of income.

The task force that worked on this ordinance for the city estimated that there are at least 400 tenants that want to use housing choice vouchers and can’t get into an apartment.

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Deja Powers has a Dayton apartments now, but has had trouble with both public and private landlords. She said she likes the idea of landlords not being allowed to discriminate against people that have income that’s not from a job.

“There’s times when you try to get a new place and some people, landlords, want more than one income,” Powers told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell.

Many landlords only want to accept income from jobs, checking prospective tenants’ last two paycheck stubs. The city’s ordinance would make landlords consider alternative sources of income as well.

“Most of the programs that are federally backed and funded, you’re pretty sure you are going to get paid,” Marty Gehres, Dayton Municipal Clerk of Courts and a housing task force chair, said.

If passed, the ordinance would prohibit landlords from discriminating against people using alternatives sources of income, like social security, disability payments, veteran’s benefits, child support payments and housing choice vouchers.

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“The biggest pushback is the housing choice vouchers,” he said.

Gehres told News Center 7 that landlords don’t like the vouchers because tenants using the Housing and Urban Development money are forced to move slow and complete lots of paperwork.

City commissioners are expected to pass this ordinance tomorrow and the Human Relations Council will make sure landlords follow it. They said they believe tenants using the vouchers are more reliable.

“Once they are set up and verified, the payments come through very reliably,” Samba Silla, Justice and Inclusion Administrator at Dayton Human Relations Council, said. “Whereas, with wages, employees can be furloughed.”

The proposed ordinance does not guarantee any prospective tenant will get the apartment the want. It does mean they won’t be discriminated against because they are using an alternative source of income.

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