In Hot LA Rental Market, Veterans with Housing Vouchers are Being Turned Away

May 08, 2018

Southern California Public Radio KPCC
By Libby Denkmann

Any Angeleno who’s hopped online lately looking to rent a new apartment knows that the Southern California housing market is tight. There’s not a lot of inventory, and what is available costs a pretty penny. Selling yourself as a desirable tenant is part of the house-hunting dance. 

Some advocates say military and veteran status can work against applicants trying to lock down leases in this competitive rental environment. 

“This rental market is not quite as welcoming as it used to be, and we’ve seen examples of landlords discriminating against veterans and people on active duty,” said State Senator Jerry Hill of San Mateo and Santa Clara. “When I see an injustice, I get mad.”

Hill introduced SB 1427 last month. It aims to protect servicemembers from housing discrimination by adding “veteran and military status” to a list of protected classes, and changing the way landlords treat veteran rental vouchers.

California law prohibits housing discrimination based on things like race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation, but there’s currently nothing on the books about military service. 

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