Charlotte committee pushing for landlords to accept housing vouchers


 Imagine getting a voucher to help pay part of the rent.

For some Charlotte families, the lifeline can mean the difference between a roof over their head and homelessness. The problem is too many landlords won’t accept these vouchers. Now, the city of Charlotte is trying to change that.

On Monday afternoon, the city’s Great Neighborhoods Committee is expected to make some recommendations to make those subsidies and vouchers more accepted.

The vouchers cover about 70% of a person’s rent. The problem is many landlords won’t take them.

This isn’t just a Charlotte problem. Across the country, landlords refuse to take part in Section 8 housing programs. Some of the reasons include government inspections, costly repairs and red tape associated with the program.

A study done two years ago found when landlords do take part, those properties are often in neighborhoods with lower-performing schools, high poverty and high crime.

Here in Charlotte, landlords aren’t required to take part. Some call it income discrimination and there are states that have laws against it. North Carolina, however, isn’t one of them.

An ad-hoc committee studied the problem. They want to make the voucher program mandatory for landlords who get any kind of public tax dollars.

The committee also recommends not just the city and county to provide more funding, but it’s also calling on non-profits and philanthropic organizations to help with participation.

Finally, another recommendation is to offer property tax vouchers to new rental property developers as a way to increase participation.

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