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Alachua County Passes Mandatory Participation in Section 8 Program

Posted By: Anders Hancock Advocacy News , Industry News ,

Alachua County Passes Mandatory Participation in Section 8 Program

 

On July 13, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance 21-0446 that amended the original Alachua County Human Rights ordinance that was passed on April 23, 2019, that added source of income (SOI) as a protected class to the Fair Housing laws within the Alachua County Code of Ordinances. The amendment will go into effect on September 1.

The amendment effectively cancels out the ability to implement the industry standard of an income of three times the rent amount for an applicant with a housing voucher. The amendment does this by requiring the resident to only have to make three times the amount of the portion of the rent that they are directly responsible for outside of the voucher amount.

For example, consider this scenario-

Prior to this amendment passing:

The monthly rent for a two-bedroom and two-bathroom market-rate unit is $1,000. The industry standard would be for the resident to bring in a monthly income of $3,000 or three times the monthly rent for market-rate properties regardless of source of income. For instance, the resident has a voucher for $800 and makes $1,200, they would not qualify.

$800 voucher + $1,200 of additional income = $2,000 total income

Under the new Human Rights’ Ordinance Amendment

The monthly rent for a two-bedroom and two-bathroom unit is $1,000. The resident has a voucher of $800, but since the resident would only be responsible of personally supplying $200 out of that total $1,000 monthly rent. Therefore, under the new local ordinance, the resident only needs to make $600 to qualify for the apartment.

$1,000 monthly rent - $800 voucher = $200 to be provided by the resident

$200 to be provided by resident towards rent x three = $600 + $800 voucher = $1,400, the total monthly income that can be required by the housing provider to qualify for the apartment

 

Ultimately, Alachua County, one among four Florida counties with “source of income” discrimination ordinances has further strengthened their protections in place by changing the way qualifiable rent is calculated.