New Law in Effect Regarding Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher Program

Release date: 07/07/2014
Sponsored by: Housing Services Department, Administrative Services Division

As of July 1, 2014, Oregon law prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to someone based upon their use of a Section 8 voucher as a source of income. The Housing Choice Act, which passed during the 2013 legislative session, does not force landlords to accept Section 8 voucher-holders as tenants but it does prohibit them from turning away renters solely on the basis of their participation in the program. The law continues to allow landlords to deny applicants based on credit, criminal, financial or other reasons related to past behavior, whether they participate in the Section 8 program or not.

The federally funded Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program helps low-income people pay their rent.  It is commonly called "Section 8" or "Voucher".  People with Section 8 vouchers find their own housing and pay a percentage of their income for rent. The Washington County Department of Housing Services (DHS) uses these federal funds to pay the landlord the rest of the rent. The new law also creates a landlord guarantee program which allows landlords to receive up to $5,000 to repair damage caused by Section 8 tenants. The damage must be more than normal wear and tear, repairs must exceed $500 and a judge must have ruled against the tenant in a small claims or circuit court.

Additional information for landlords regarding the Section 8 program may be found on the Washington County Housing Services website at http://www.co.washington.or.us/Housing/landlords.cfm.

Contact:

Washington County Housing Services
503-846-4794