A proposed Minneapolis ordinance prohibiting discrimination against Section 8 voucher holders would overburden landlords and cause rents to rise, members of the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association (MMHA) said at a news conference Thursday.
About two dozen property owners and managers who own rental housing in Minneapolis gathered to raise concerns about the proposal by Council Members Elizabeth Glidden and Abdi Warsame. The ordinance is expected to come up for a public hearing.
The apartment owners said the voluntary federal Section 8 voucher program, which in Minneapolis is administered by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, is already cumbersome. If the ordinance passes, there will be more administrative costs and an incentive for landlords to raise rents across the board so voucher holders are priced out, said Cecil Smith, incoming MMHA board chair.
Bernadette Hornig, of the family-owned Hornig Companies, said her company accepts Section 8 vouchers at some properties in Minneapolis and the greater metro area. The program needs to be reformed in Minneapolis to make it easier for voucher holders and landlords to participate before a mandate passes, she said.
"The administrative burden of the Section 8 program, particularly in Minneapolis, is the primary reason we don't choose to participate where we don't have to," Hornig said. "It seems like this mandate is putting the cart before the horse."