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Iowa House passes bill to prohibit counties from forcing landlords to accept section 8-tenants

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 7:19 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - A new bill in the Iowa State House would prohibit cities and counties from forcing landlords to accept section 8-tenants.

Des Moines, Iowa City, and Marion all have ordinances to prevent landlords from discriminating against tenants based on whether they accept federal housing assistance.

The House passed the bill Monday night in a 56 to 38 vote.

Proponents of the bill say they want to give landlords a choice.

“We have some landlords that just simply would rather not have to get involved with the extra paperwork or inspections or changes to their apartments or whatever else might come around because of that,” Rep. Dave Deyoe, R-Nevada, said. “I think it’s important that we do allow them the freedom.”

A number of groups representing landlords registered in favor of the bill, but opponents of the bill say it will lead to discrimination against low-income Iowans.

“It’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, or other characteristics, so with the passage of Senate File 252, landlords can now use housing vouchers as an excuse,” Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, said.

A number of Iowa municipalities and social justice organizations registered against the bill.

It now heads back to the Iowa Senate.

If it passes the chamber again, it would head then head to Governor Reynolds’ desk.

See the story on KCCI’s website.

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