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Tangela Wats…, Renter in Lincoln Park, Chicago,...

Are there any landlords who will accept Section 8 voucher that are not in low poverty areas?

Asked by Tangela Watson, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL Sun Oct 7, 2012

I have been searching for a 3 or for bedroom apartment for about 2 months now. I'm looking on the North side of Chicago. The problem I'm Having is no one wants to take the Section 8 voucher. I am a good person and good tenant. The minute you say Section 8 they brush you off! Why? It's guaranteed money and the program screens every and they also do background checks. Can anyone help please?

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I have experienced the same frustration you are having. My client had good credit, we presented all the paperwork and suddenly the condo was no longer available. Since my client had a deadline, she ended up having to settle for her second choice apartment.

Part of the problem is that in the current market there is so much competition (multiple applicants for every apartment), I have had clients who have a high credit score and high income get turned down for a rental as well.

Since you are hitting a wall when you mention the voucher, my advice would be to not mention it unless specifically asked and/or when it comes time to submit your application. After all, it is illegal to discriminate based on source of income in Illinois.. so it should be a non issue. The only thing a prospective Landlord needs to know is that your total income is 3.5 - 4 x the total rent.

I would also suggest preparing a letter - have all your information ready to go along with this letter which outlines why you are an excellent tenant (credit score, references, background, etc.) and more information about the mobility program. Try to think of why a Landlord would want to rent to you. For instance, you mention that the program performed a background check on you and it is guaranteed money for them- what else are the benefits? Highlight these points in your letter that will go with your application.

I would also ask your case worker if she has any advice on finding a place. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
The program that i am on is called Mobility Program. It allows the tenant to move in better opportunity areas. They will pay WHATEVER the market rent is for those areas. No one has checked my credit or verified anything! The moment you say Section it's a No or some type of excuse. If you are a good landlord then there is no reason to fail inspection. I work hard everyday and I'm no different from anyone else. No rent is guaranteed if that's the case. The way society is you can walk into work tomorrow and be laid off. I'm just asking for someone who will work with me. Thanks.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012

Did you find a rental for your family? If not, feel free to contact me, I am working with a client who is currently on the same program as you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
HI, I have a Section 8 and am having an EXTREMELY difficult time with finding a nice, clean, safe, secure, pest free apartment on the Northwest side of Chicago! I see MANY listings on the SOUTH SIDE, but I REALLY AND TRULY WISH TO BE back in MY old neighborhood! Running out of time, but I saw your reply to Tangela and thought that maybe you could help me! Thanks soooo VERY much! Desperate!!!!
Flag Sun Aug 17, 2014
I have seen section 8's in good areas. A lot of landlord's don't like to mess with section 8. They have to jump through inspection hoops they have told me. I have a nice 2 bedroom in Avondale, which is a fine area. That landlord takes section 8. I would still have to run your credit report however. Even though your rent is guaranteed to be paid, we want to make sure you pay your light bill and gas bill, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
can you help me i have section 8 and looking for a 2bdrm on the northwest side of chicago my vocher is for $981 can you please email me thank-you looking to move 04/2015
Flag Wed Feb 11, 2015
hello if she has a outstanding light or gas or any utility bill you would not qualify for the voucher until those have been paid off , if she has a voucher in hand she has passed back ground, criminal and resolved if any all not paid utilities bills, just a fyi!!
Flag Wed Jun 25, 2014
I would try and find a leasing agent who has experience with doing these sorts of rentals. Maybe they can help turn your luck around.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Tangela, I worked with a client briefly who was under that same program. It was my understanding that there were specific neighborhoods that qualify for that program. As previously stated, working with a Realtor or leading agent would benefit you. We are more aware of your rights as a tenant. Don't give up, there is a new home out there for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Hi Tangela,

I am surprised that none of the answers here let you know that in Cook County, "Source of Income" is a protected class!
This was done specifically to stop landlords from saying no to section 8!
It is not legal to say no to section 8! If a building has failed the inspection, it would probably be OK to say no, but otherwise they have to treat you as they would any other renter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
I have a section 8 voucher and i am looking for a house and every where i go i get turned down because no one wants to accept my voucher. Please help.
Flag Sun Nov 2, 2014
how much is your voucher.. a bedroom can cost 300-2500 depending on the location so it may have less to do with you and more to do with the amount and the areas you are calling "low poverty"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Yes, of course.

I suggest you ask your case worker to provide you with a list of landlords that do accept Sec. 8.

Other than that, work with a leasing agent that is willing to do the leg work for you.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Yes there are landlords who will accept vouchers if their home will meet the standards. The problem is that in higher income areas the voucher does not cover the market rent. No landlord would lower their rent to cover a voucher when there are plenty of perspective tenants who will pay the asking rent. For example the average 2 bedroom condo rental in Chicago's downtown rents for an average of $2,500 a month. No landlord would rent this place for a voucher that may pay no more than $1150 a month. You have to move to a neighborhood that is equivalent to your voucher. I am not sure if the purpose of a rental assistance voucher is to move a tenant into a single family home for example in Lincoln Park, Hyde Park, Oak Park, Edison Park, Norwood Park, etc. I thought the voucher was to assist a person who qualifies, for needed rental assistance. Again, this is not to say that landlords in certain neighborhoods will not accept the voucher, its that their place may not meet the inspection guidelines or they may not want to negotiate on the amount of rent that they are asking. Also, it could be other things not associated with the voucher such as credit, income, etc. The money is not guaranteed. The place has to continue to meet the guidelines. The tenant has to remain in good standings with HUD. Any violation of these things can cause the landlord to loose their rent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Work with a Realtor to help you identify properties that may be available to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
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