In this morning's Oregonian, the Editorial Board weighed in on Speaker Tina Kotek's proposed Section 8 reform bill, which is currently working its way through the legislature in Salem. The idea of the legislation, the Board wrote, "is to keep the source of a prospective tenant's income out of the equation - and in doing so prevent discrimination."
While "Speaker Kotek and Commissioner Fish are right to seek a level field for all people who seek shelter and have money to pay for it," the Board writes that "this bill misses the mark."
This is a change from the Editorial Board's earlier position. In June of last year, they wrote that "the Legislature should support Portland Rep. Tina Kotek's drive to require all landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers."
We believe that everyone in our community should have housing choices. We've invested significant funds over the last few years to support high-quality, affordable homes in neighborhoods from Hillsdale to Cully, Lents to the South Waterfront.
Speaker Kotek's bill will require landlords to treat voucher-holders the same as any other prospective renter. This is an important step forward for the Section 8 program, and an important step forward for civil rights in Oregon.
A shared path to fair housing
The Oregonian Editorial Board, June 2012
Bias in Section 8 proposal
The Oregonian Editorial Board, March 28 2013
Oregonian editorial board flip-flops on Section 8 legislation
Street Roots, March 28 2013