Under a new state law, landlords will no longer be able to discriminate against tenants based on their income source. From now on, landlords can’t refuse people who pay rent using Section 8 housing vouchers, veterans benefits, and other lawful sources of income.
Turning tenants away because of their income source has been illegal in the city of Rochester since 2017. But Joe DiFiore, the board president of City Roots Community Land Trust, said it hasn’t been enforced.
“It’s not clear to tenants, so landlords are pretty explicit in saying ‘we don’t accept it’, or even if they aren’t explicit they can say ‘we accept section 8’ then when you write it on your application they throw the application in the garbage,” DiFiore said.
So why aren’t they accepting it? Joel Kunkler, residential re-entry center director at Volunteers of America, said if tenants don’t meet the expectations of the program they’re part of, it puts both parties at risk.