116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The governor signed Senate File 252 on April 30. It bans cities from preventing landlords from discriminating against those with Section 8 housing vouchers. This prevents cities (Des Moines, Marion and Iowa City) from enforcing their relevant anti-discrimination ordinances. This bill, on its own, weaves together many of the damaging threads of this legislative session.
In my view, this bill:
• Codifies discrimination, despite the fact that when those using vouchers can’t pay their rent because they lose their job, the amount of the voucher increases, so the landlord is better protected than if a non-voucher tenant were suddenly unable to pay the rent.
• Risks hitting hardest those who have already been knocked down by the pandemic — in particular, those in the BIPOC community, people who are elderly and people with disabilities.
• Works against recovery from the pandemic.
• Perpetuates the persistent lie that racism does not exist by creating a new, albeit limited, form of redlining.
• Guts local control, yet again.
• Invents and “solves” a non-existent problem, yet again.
• Puts Iowa’s taxpayers (predominantly those who lives in cities, since much of the tax base resides there) on the hook yet again to foot the bill if/when a lawsuit is filed.
Tell me again, please, how Iowa values “local control” when the Republicans in the legislature limit it when a community opts to deal with a local issue in a way that is legal — but does not comport with their world view?