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Proposed ordinance would expand Section 8 housing

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A Milwaukee County supervisor wants to keep landlords from choosing their tenants based on their need for housing vouchers.

On Monday, people both for and against the ordinance voiced their opinions at the Community and Economic Development Committee meeting at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The ordinance is sponsored by Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic. She says just like landlords can’t choose their tenants based on race, gender, or disability, they should not be able to use the need for housing vouchers as a reason to turn renters away.

At Monday’s hearing, some spoke in favor of equal housing for all. Property managers against the ordinance said Section 8 vouchers require one-year leases and they want to be able to offer month-to-month options. They say they don’t want to be forced to run their business a certain way.

Dimitrijevic says it’s about getting rid of segregation in Milwaukee.

“The zip code that you’re born in often dictates what your future will hold for you and that's not acceptable. We need to improve housing access for everyone in our community,” Dimitrijevic said.

“This is not an issue of race. People do not get evicted because they’re black, Hispanic, or disabled. They get evicted because they haven’t paid their rent," said an opponent of the proposal at Monday's meeting. 

No actions were taken at Monday’s meeting. It will be back on the committee’s agenda in May.

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