I'm a former realtor in New Rochelle and yes I was guilty of this too so allow me to explain why and the truth behind Section 8 & other vouchers:
1. Regular rentals cost more than what Section 8 pays and landlords, property managers & owners refuse to take a loss between what Section 8 pays and what they can collect on the open market.
2. It is LEGAL to discriminate against vouchers for financial reasons. As long as it has nothing to do with race, religion, family status, gender, etc. - yes landlords can discriminate if the voucher pays less than what the market rate is.
3. Example: if a 3 bedroom rental at Harbor House (3 Davenport Ave., New Rochelle, NY. 10805) normally rents for $3,415./month and your voucher is for $1,815./month, Goldfarb Properties who is the property manager for Harbor House wants you to pay $1,600. every month because that is the difference between the regular rent and what your voucher pays ($3415. - $1815. = $1600.). Goldfarb Properties will not lose $1,600. x 12 months = $19,200. per year just to rent to you with a voucher. Instead Goldfarb Properties / Harbor House will reject you and wait until a tenant comes along who can pay the full $3,415./month for the same 3 bedroom apartment and that person has no voucher. This may seem like discrimination but it is legal.
4. Have you tried the apartment complex across the street (Marina's Edge also on Davenport Ave.)? The one facing the water. It's officially a co-op but many residents are on Section 8. As far as I know Marina's Edge does not have 3 bedrooms so you will need to rent 2 bedrooms. Another area to try - the Lincoln Ave. district. I know Section 8 residents do live in this area. Also what about the housing complex on 5th Ave. near Potter Lane? Beyond New Rochelle, you will need to look in Mount Vernon, Port Chester & Yonkers.
5. As for real estate agents and why they refuse to help you: it's all about money. I know Section 8 pays realtors BUT the amount Section 8 pays is cheap and not worth it. Agents can easily make more money buying and selling homes to regular people that they do not need to work with vouchers. It's not worth their time and the pay is too cheap for them so don't expect real estate agents to help you.
6. Since you said your income is $45,000. + Section 8 + child support, then you can afford to get an apartment at Harbor House and pay the difference of $1,600. every month on time. This will equal the regular rent for a 3 bedroom. If not, try getting a 2 bedroom for about $2,000. If you refuse to pay the extra rent owed and expect landlords just to accept Section 8, then you're the one who is stupid and you need to change your attitude.