Resistbot Petition: Stop Attacks on Affordable Housing in Missouri (Mo. only)

An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (Mo. only)

Stop Attacks on Affordable Housing in Missouri

21 so far! Help us get to 25 signers!

I urge you to oppose HB2385 (Keathley), which would prohibit municipalities from stopping landlords that discriminate based on a renter’s source of income to pay rent, including Vouchers. If this bill is passed, I am concerned about the impact it would have on affordable housing availability in Missouri, which already has a significant gap in available units, as well as the impact on the work being done to address rising homelessness in our communities, which increased 11.7% from 2022-2023. Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) and other federal rental assistance programs have been shown to be effective at reducing homelessness among households with low incomes, the elderly, people with disabilities, individuals with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Children in families that receive vouchers after experiencing homelessness change schools less frequently and have a decrease in behavioral problems. Vouchers help people move from homelessness to stable housing by providing subsidies for rental payments they may not otherwise be able to afford. Vouchers cover rent and utility costs above the required 30% of income that households pay. There are also additional services in place to cover a higher portion if the household experiences financial hardship. This is guaranteed, long-term income for landlords, with studies showing that the average length of stay in a unit is six years for households that use vouchers. Landlords maintain their right to evict if the tenant violates their lease, and the tenant is responsible for maintaining the unit or risk termination from the program. However, in municipalities where they are allowed to discriminate, 67% of landlords refuse to rent to individuals with a voucher. Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8, and public housing programs have served 6% fewer people, while the people requesting a voucher has increased by 25%. This can lead to long wait times of 1-3 years. While waiting on a voucher, households are often paying more than 30% of their income towards rent, making it necessary to often choose between rent, food, medical care, and other basic needs. Studies have shown that vouchers lift people out of poverty, increase mental and physical health outcomes, and decrease homelessness. Vouchers are a proven intervention to increasing the supply of affordable housing in communities, and this is done when landlords participate. Participation can be increased with a better understanding of the program, including the benefits of participation, and the overall positive impact it can have on their community.

▶ Created on March 7 by MO Residents

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