Kentucky Senate easily approves legislation focusing on section eight housing vouchers and evictions

Republished from WEKU.

The Kentucky Senate has passed its version of a bill on rent-related modifications when it comes to the payment source. The Senate action came one day after a similar vote in the Kentucky House.

Bourbon County Senator Steve West explaining SB25

Stu Johnson

Bourbon County Senator Steve West explaining SB25

Paris GOP Senator Steve West started his remarks by saying SB25 deals with protection of property rights. He told colleagues the measure says landlords can’t be forced to accept section eight vouchers and no local ordinances can be enacted in conflict with current state eviction law. West said it would ensure state law pre-empts local law.

“I wanted to expressly pre-empt any efforts in these two key areas. And the primary reason is the negative effect on the real estate market and the negative effect on our landlords,” said West.

Fayette County Senator Reggie Thomas commenting on SB25

Stu Johnson

Fayette County Senator Reggie Thomas commenting on SB25

Democratic Senators from Louisville and Lexington spoke out against the legislation, saying it could impact source of income discrimination bans. Louisville already has such an ordinance and a Lexington committee this week approved a measure requiring landlords to consider vouchers among other payment sources.

Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas said his city council’s current consideration of a ban on source of income discrimination doesn’t restrict landlords on rates.

 “We’re not talking about rent control here. It’s not a situation where the City is coming in and saying you’re limited in terms of the market value of your home. This is not rent control,” said Thomas.

Louisville Senator Cassie Chambers Armstrong said the Section Eight program doesn’t prohibit landlords from charging a fair market rate. She said it’s designed to support renters not restrict property owners.

Bill Sponsor Steve West said there are strings attached to section eight like additional inspections and rent guidelines. Owensboro Senator Gary Boswell voted yes and said rules and regulations are killing new housing developments and re-modelings. The Kentucky House passed a similar measure earlier this week.

West said local governments like those in Lexington and Louisville could modify source of income discrimination ordinances to not be pre-empted by state action.

* WEKU is working hard to be a leading source for public service, and fact-based journalism. Monthly supporters are the top funding source for this growing nonprofit news organization. Please join others in your community who support WEKU by making your donation.

Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.