Today the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously in favor of amending the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance to prohibit discrimination against Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as “Section 8”) as a form of income for tenants seeking housing in the city. The change will take effect on May 1, 2018.
The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) welcomes this council action that prohibits discrimination against families with Housing Choice Vouchers. While we do not believe this change is a cure-all for the challenges voucher families face in finding affordable housing, it will be a helpful step in addressing this issue. It will require that voucher families receive the same consideration given to other prospective tenants, and eliminate the “No Section 8” warning that is unfortunately all too common in rental listings. We are hopeful that the change will encourage some families to consider neighborhoods of greater opportunity, which they might previously have felt were off-limits.
In the year until the amendment takes effect, MPHA is committed to making changes that we believe will improve the experience for property owners and create opportunities for families. These changes will include enhancements to our inspections protocol, changes to payment processes, an extension of housing-search-time, improved communication and feedback opportunities for owners, and deeper collaboration with the City of Minneapolis and other regional public housing authorities. Our initial proposed changes are online (mphaonline.org/HousingChoiceDocuments) and we look forward to providing ongoing updates as we make these improvements.