Kirkland leaders approve ordinance protecting low-income renters

KIRKLAND, Wash. - Kirkland landlords will no longer be able to deny tenants based on their use of a Section 8 Housing Voucher after the City Council recently approved a new ordinance prohibiting such practices.

The Council's decision was made following a public hearing on the issue last week. Under the new citywide ordinance, landlords will be required to apply the same standards for renting to all potential tenants.

The Section 8 Housing Voucher program provides low to very-low income families financial assistance and the ability to apply for privately owned rental housing. Under the program, a family pays 30 percent of the household's income toward rent and the King County Housing Authority pays the landlord the difference.

"This is seen as another thing the city can do to assure access to housing for everyone who would like to live in Kirkland," the Kirkland planning department's Dawn Nelson said before the Council made its decision.

Kirkland's new ordinance takes effect this week.