Urgent-Section 8 about to be required as source of income

6 Replies | Oakland, California

Received this today from East Bay Rental Housing Assn.

Red Alert: Oppose SB 1053 Now!

SB 1053 (Leno) forces residential rental property owners to participate involuntarily in the federal and local government's voluntary Section 8 voucher program. By requiring owners to accept Section 8 housing vouchers, government is compelling owners to accept all government-mandated lease terms and regulations (the regulation manual is approximately 400 pages long).

Call Your Senator Now

If you live, work, own or manage property in Alameda or Country Costa County, call your Senator (contact info below) and ask him or her to VOTE NO on SB 1053 (Leno) when it is taken up on the Senate floor.

Here are the simple steps:

  • Call the Senator's office listed below
  • When the call is answered, identify yourself and state that you are a member of the East Bay Rental Housing Association
  • State that you live, work, own OR manage residential rental property in the City of _______
  • State you are calling to ask the Legislator to VOTE NO SB 1053 (Leno)
  • Please call on or before Friday, April 15, 2016
  • Thank the Senator's staff for taking your call. That's it!
Click here to read a letter explaining the issue in detail and how it will adversely affect the industry.
Please call the following Senators:

Senator Steve Glazer (District map): 
Senator Lonnie Hancock (District map): 
Senator Bob Wieckowski (District map): 

Thanks to all EBRHA members to take the time to call their senators to oppose this legislation.

Im surprised this isnt already the case in California. In every state I do business in, source of income is a protected class already. It really isnt that big of a deal.

It is a big deal to me. I don't want to be required to accept a HUD lease (the manual of which is 400 pages long), or deal with the local housing office. Read the linked letter above for all the reasons this is an infringement on landlord's right to run their businesses as they see fit.

  • SB 1053 strips property owners of their freedom to contract (or not contract) in connection with the property they own. The proposal requires property owners to participate in the voluntary Section 8 program; and owners cannot participate in that program without signing a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract with HUD.
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SB 1053 doesn't force rental property owners to participate involuntarily in the Section 8 program. 

It's already illegal in California (and some other states as @Russell Brazil pointed out) to discriminate based on source of income.  SB 1053 just clarifies that the Housing Choice Voucher Program is included in the protected sources of income. 

It doesn't mean you must accept an applicant that has a voucher though.  You just need to screen them like you would any other applicant, and not outright deny them based solely on the fact that they receive government assistance. 

@Kyle J.    The description of the bill on nonprofit housing.org says "SB 1053 adds housing subsidy vouchers to the sources of income protected by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act."

Currently, some advertisers for housing specifically state they don't accept Section 8.  

I guess now we'll have to waste our time & energy accepting applications from Sect.8 


Existing law generally prohibits housing discrimination with respect to various personal characteristics including source of income. Existing law defines “source of income” for these purposes as lawful, verifiable income paid directly to a tenant or paid to a representative of a tenant, which does not include a landlord.

This bill would amend the definition of “source of income” to also include specified federal, state, or local housing assistance or subsidies paid either to the tenant or directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant.

@Lois S.


Contrary to how you are reading those pamphlets and websites.....you will not be required to rent to Section 8 tenants......period.

   You own the property so you can screen tenants the way you want to. If someone inquires and asks if you accept Section 8 Vouchers it is up to you to says yes or no.  Just because you interview someone or show them a property that is on Section 8 YOU ARE NOT required to rent to them....If they don't pass your screening process I.E. background check, not the right type of credit score, verification of employment didn't work out, etc.....etc..It is all up to what you choose to utilize as your screening criteria.

I have quite a bit of experience with this because I have rented to people on Section 8 and some that are not on Section 8. 

Again..............you will never be forced to rent to someone on Section 8