New legislation can prevent housing discrimination

Michigan

There’s an effort underway to get more low-income people and families into permanent housing.

There’s no law that landlords have to accept tenants who have vouchers for section 8 rental assistance or veteran assistance, but some state lawmakers are trying to change that.

“It doesn’t have to be this stressful.” Shontaze Jones.

She served her country for 3 years in the army.

Now says she has been discriminated against for having a voucher.

“Oh you have a voucher, it doesn’t matter. Everything stops right there.” Jones added.

Her son is 2 years old and she has been dealing with this before he was born.

“When I was five months pregnant and I had to get out because they come in and inspect..and then you get those 30 days and that is not a lot of time.” said Jones.

State Representative Robert Wittenberg, says this isn’t only happening to Jones.

“What we’ve seen unfortunately is some discriminatory practices. Where people can discriminate against you on your source of income. If you have section 8 housing or as a veteran.” Said State Rep. Robert Wittenberg, (D-Huntington Woods)

Shontaze says all she wants to do is giver son stability.

“I want to decorate..paint his room.” Said Jones.

But the living conditions are so low, she is just trying to keep him from getting sick.

“I literally had to nail up carpets against the wall. To keep him from eating the paint that was falling off the wall.” Said Jones.

Now she is searching for her third home.

“When you have these vouchers man you’re going out here. You’re searching, you’re searching, you’re looking., you find something perfect and right when you think you find a great home for your child. You look at the bottom and you see it says, does not accept section 8.” Jones added.

State Representatives Yousef Rabhi and Robert Wittenberg introduced the legislation to ban discrimination against recipients of housing assistance.

They say this is just the start of these conversations.

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