An ordinance prohibiting housing discrimination based on source of income passed on Tuesday at Santa Monica City Council with a unanimous 7 to 0 vote with all members present.
By far the quieter of the two ordinances discussed before council on Tuesday, drawing only one public commenter, the vote on housing discrimination was swift and uncontested.
As Mayor Kevin McKeown commented before the staff report was given, “I don’t think this will be a hard sell because the council asked for this.”
It was brought to the attention of City staff that some local landlords were not renting units to tenants who receive housing assistance in the form of rent subsidies such as Section 8 vouchers.
As a way to prevent this discrimination from continuing, the ordinance will increase the penalty for a violation from $500 to a range of $1,000 to $10,000.
The Consumer/Fair Housing Division of the City Attorney’s Office and the Housing Division of the Housing and Economic Development Department will provide information about the new provision of law to the landlord and tenant communities to ensure that those communities have notice of their new rights and responsibilities, according to City staff.