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Housing Payment Equality Ordinance

About the Ordinance

The Housing Payment Equality Ordinance prohibits discrimination against housing voucher holders who apply for rental housing in San José.  The ordinance enables applicants who receive financial assistance to be considered in an equal manner to all other applicants.  The ordinance is intended to expand housing opportunities for voucher holders, many of whom have previously faced discrimination. The Housing Payment Equality Ordinance Fact Sheet summarizes the provisions of the Ordinance.

Prohibited Activities by Landlords
  • Advertising that housing vouchers are not accepted
  • Assessing an applicant's ability to pay based on an amount greater than the portion of rent to be paid by the applicant
  • Imposing rental terms on voucher holders that differ from terms for other rental applicants

Properties Covered
  • All rental properties
  • Single-family homes exempt when landlord lives in home

Mechanisms of Enforcement

  • The San José Housing Department may issue warning letters for violations of the Ordinance.
  • The San José Housing Department may provide legal referrals to address such violations through Superior Court and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
The Housing Payment Equality Ordinance is in the San José Municipal Code, Chapter 5.10.