Voucher Protection Laws Expand at State and Local Levels

The share of voucher holders covered by voucher protection laws is growing, according to a recent report from The Urban Institute and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC). Their dataset and accompanying report entitled, “State and Local Voucher Protection Laws,” compile state and local laws that prohibit discrimination by landlords against renters with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). The dataset includes 12 state laws and 87 city and county laws passed between 1971 and the end of 2019.

The report identifies key features of the laws that may influence their effectiveness. It finds that these laws collectively covered about half of all voucher holders nationally. Compared with households in places without protections for voucher holders, households that have vouchers in jurisdictions with protections are more likely to be headed by an older adult, to be headed by a Hispanic/Latino person, and to include someone with a disability. They are also less likely to include children or be headed by a Black person. The report also finds that voucher protection laws are diverse and have strengthened over time.