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Atlanta leaders pass ordinance barring landlords from income discrimination

Sean Keenan
The Atlanta City Council chambers are crowded with affordable housing advocates.

By Sean Keenan

The Atlanta City Council on Monday passed an ordinance that bars intown landlords from turning away would-be tenants based on their income.

Additionally, the legislation, approved by a 13-2 vote, would prohibit landlords from denying recipients of government vouchers who apply to live at their properties.

The ordinance was spearheaded by District 3 Councilman Antonio Brown, who noted in a press release that laws already on the books “protect you from housing discrimination based on things like age, gender, and race.”

So why not protect against income discrimination, too? he wondered.

“Using a voucher as your source of income makes you just as much a potential victim of this kind of discriminatory behavior,” he said, per the release. “I think it’s critical that we codify that there’s no place for that in Atlanta.”

The move echoes an ideal also held by Atlanta Housing CEO Eugene Jones, who has told SaportaReport in the past, “There shouldn’t be a landlord in this state that should be allowed to turn down Section 8 vouchers.”

Councilmembers Monday also approved legislation that encourages the Georgia Legislature to ban landlords across the state from refusing to accept subsidized housing vouchers as rental income.

In a similar vein, Brown passed a resolution recently that seeks the help of Georgia lawmakers to repeal a statewide ban on rent control.

The measure cleared the Atlanta City Council with flying colors — only District 8 Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit voted against it — but University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock told SaportaReport last week that he thinks the proposal has no shot at the Gold Dome.

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