Washington seeks ban on income-based rent discrimination
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state lawmakers have advanced bills that prohibit landlords from rejecting housing tenants based on the source of their income.
The Seattle Times reports that Senate Bill 5407 prevents landlords from turning down applicants who rely on income from Social Security, veterans benefits or Section 8 housing vouchers. It also establishes a fund to reimburse property owners for a maximum of $1,000 of damages that may be caused by those tenants and up to 14 days of rental losses. The bill estimates the government can raise $1.5 million annually for the fund by levying a $3 recording charge on real estate documents.
The Senate and House approved separate bills Friday that address the matter. The measures must now be reconciled before final approval.
The legislation would add Washington to a list of 12 states that ban similar discrimination. The state would be the first to establish a financial-loss mitigation fund for landlords.