Brief Fact Summary. A woman with a housing voucher was denied an apartment because of a clause in her lease. The lease form was required in order for her to use her voucher.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. It is unlawful discrimination to refuse housing to a subsidy program participant because of any requirement of the housing subsidy program. This is considered discrimination based on income
Issue. Whether the one-month termination provision of an AHVP lease is a requirement to accept a AHVP tenant and if so may a landlord reject that provision for purported financial reasons.
Held. No. Not only is a landlord forbidden to refuse to rent to a person who receives a subsidy for housing, but it is also unlawful to refuse to rent to that person based on the requirements held in the standard lease of a subsidy program member. It is also unlawful to accept the lease but not to comply with the termination clause of the lease. That clause is a requirement of the lease and must be enforced. Defendant claims that this requirement does not protect his property interest. This court finds the proper balance between the land-lords rights and the right to affordable housing is met; therefore, the landlord refusal to agree to termination provision is a violation of the lease as establish under the AHVP.
Discussion. Allowing landlords to reject certain requirements of the AHVP lease for personal reason can potentially create a widespread and profound impact on the ability of residents to be able find affordable housing.