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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.

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 an administrative citation after providing a warning.
  • The City Attorney's Office may bring civil action in Superior Court against a repeat violator.
  • An individual may bring a civil action again a landlord if they notify the San José Housing Department of an alleged violation and the Department determines there is no ability to cure the violation.

The Housing Payment Equality Ordinance is in the San José Municipal Code, Chapter 5.10.