North Texas Community Denies Section 8 Applicants – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

North Texas Community Denies Section 8 Applicants – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A homeowners association in Denton County will no longer allow Section 8 renters, according to new rental and leasing rules it passed earlier this month.

The government-subsidized rental assistance program allows private landlords to rent apartments and homes to qualified low-income tenants.

Some calculate the HOA’s new rules could displace hundreds of families in the town of Providence Village.

Revisha Threats, a single mom and small business owner, could be one of them.

“I’m going to be homeless. I’m going to use that money that I get back from a place and put everything in storage and don’t know where to live if I can provide a hotel,” Threats said.

Stephen Smith, a husband and father of three, could be forced out, too. He was a truck driver who’s now disabled.

He says the Section 8 voucher program helped stabilized his family after he was injured on the job.

“As a father, I was happy because I have a chance to nevertheless provide for my family. to go to nice schools, to be safe. It felt good,” Smith said.

Providence HOA has thousands of homes in the town of Providence Village.

Earlier this month, the HOA approved new rental and leasing rules including a Section 8 housing restriction, which states, “a rent house may not be used for a Publicly financed or subsidized housing program, such as Section 8 housing.”

It says homeowners confront a $300 fine per week for an unauthorized rental.

“I cannot think of any other way to sum it up besides discrimination,” Smith said.

NBC 5 called and emailed the Providence HOA but has not heard back.

Jessica Vittorio is an attorney with the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center, which she says is looking into possible legal consequences of the HOA’s actions.

“There is certainly a correlation and disproportionate effect on certain races and ethnicities that are going to become homeless and kicked out of their homes because of this decision and that’s what becomes problematic under the law,” Vittorio said.

Homeowners say it’s unclear when the changes are set to take effect.

Smith and Threats say their landlords are on their side and working to try to keep the renters in their homes. They say they’ve been criticized and threatened as a consequence of speaking out about their Section 8 position.

Tuesday night, Providence Village Mayor Linda Inman addressed the issue.

“None of these problems are going to be solved if we only fill our comments and everything with hate like I’ve seen,” Inman said.

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