A Pilot Study of Landlord Acceptance of Housing Choice Vouchers
This pilot study uses rigorous paired testing methodology to explore landlord treatment of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders during the initial stages of the housing search process. It is the first study to use paired testing methods across multiple sites to examine landlord treatment of HCV holders. The study finds that landlords often refuse to rent to HCV holders. In most cases, the landlord refusal takes place early in the search process, when a tester calls the landlord and asks whether Housing Choice Vouchers are accepted. In other cases, the landlord may suggest that vouchers are accepted, but subsequently fail to show up for a scheduled appointment. Landlord denial rates vary across the five study sites and may be influenced by factors such as state or local laws that prohibit discrimination by source of income (particularly local source of income laws that include protections for Section 8/voucher holders), housing market conditions, and voucher payment standards.