An investigation by a nonprofit housing advocacy group found that D.C. landlords or rental agents refused or imposed illegal conditions on 45 percent of renters wanting to use federal housing vouchers.
The Equal Rights Center, which had conducted a similar investigation five years ago, said Thursday that in tests at 91 rental properties, landlords refused to rent to 15 percent of applicants who offered the vouchers as payment and tried to impose illegal conditions on an additional 30 percent who presented the vouchers.
“One landlord imposed a requirement that a voucher holder had to make $64,000 a year in order to a rent an apartment costing $1,300 a month,” said Don Kahl, the center’s executive director. Applicants for the voucher program typically have incomes of less than $30,000 for a family of four.
Such actions are illegal under the D.C. Human Rights Act, which prohibits landlords from discriminating because a renter wants to pay using various types of funds, including government vouchers.