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Charlotte Could Move Forward With Studying Possible Ban On Rent Discrimination

A 2019 survey found that 96.5% of housing providers near the Lynx Blue Line in Charlotte said they do not accept federal housing vouchers.  A proposed rule would ban discrimination based on source of income.
David Boraks

A Charlotte City Council committee voted unanimously Wednesday to put a report on housing discrimination before the full City Council. The report addresses the issue of landlords who discriminate against tenants because of their source of income.

The Great Neighborhoods Committee recommended creating an advisory group to explore the issue over the next year. This group would set goals, such as increasing the number of landlords accepting housing vouchers.

Council member Braxton Winston says landlords also aren't accepting other kinds of payments, and those need to be studied as well.

“I think whatever work that we do, while we should know about housing choice vouchers, we need to be quantifying the overall impact to the market, to citizens, and how we can deal with this issue comprehensively,” Winston said.

The housing authority, Inlivian, and Habitat Charlotte have led the effort to create a ban. They want City Council to protect renters from income discrimination by amending Charlotte's fair housing ordinance.

They also want to make it harder for property owners to be able to pass over applicants with subsidies for those who don’t have them.

Landlords who oppose the rule say it’s not necessary. But Invivian reported in May that 44% of renters with federal vouchers looking for a place to rent in Charlotte between April and December 2019 were rejected because they used vouchers.

The plan is for the advisory group to report back in December 2022 whether it recommends creating a housing discrimination ordinance.

If the city adopts a ban on housing discrimination based on the source of income, it would be the first of its kind in North Carolina.

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