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Phoenix Offers Landlords New Incentive To Accept Section 8 Vouchers

The city of Phoenix is  launching a new program to pay landlords a bonus to accept Section 8 housing choice vouchers. This is the first time the city has offered this kind of incentive.

With a Section 8 voucher, low-income tenants typically pay 30% of their income toward rent, and the voucher covers the remainder, up to a certain amount. But Arizona  has no protections requiring landlords to accept Section 8. That can make it difficult for low-income renters to find homes.

“The rents are rising so fast in the city of Phoenix that a lot of landlords don’t feel the need to rent to Section 8 because they can get more rent, they can raise the rents constantly," said Cindy Stotler, city of Phoenix housing director. 

Starting Sept. 1, CARES Act funding will allow the city to offer $500 to landlords who accept new Section 8 tenants or renew contracts with voucher-holders. Stotler said the city is excited to launch the program, especially at a time when so many Arizonans  are housing insecure

“This is the first time we’ve ever been able to give an incentive, so we’re going to track it closely and track how many new landlords we get in based on this incentive and how many landlords re-sign,” Stotler said. 

The city has the budget to pay for about 1,000 signing bonuses.

→  (Un)Affordable: For Low-Income Arizonans, Housing Vouchers Don't Guarantee A Place to Live

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.