Mecklenburg County leaders adopt income protection policy for renters

With the county’s new policy, landlords will have to keep records of how many tenants have vouchers that would be subject to an audit.
A similar policy was passed by the city of Charlotte.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:03 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County leaders have signed off on a policy that protects renters who use housing vouchers from being discriminated against.

A similar policy was passed by the city of Charlotte. It applies to any landlord who gets money or tax grants or incentives from the county, although those who don’t are encouraged to accept those housing vouchers.

Related: Charlotte City Council approves ordinance in hopes to ease affordable housing crisis

Mecklenburg County Commissioners unanimously passed the new policy during their meeting Tuesday night.

Housing vouchers pay part of the rent directly to landlords. As WBTV has reported in the past, many landlords wouldn’t accept the vouchers, citing red tape, costly repairs and inspections.

“Policy is really about the people. Policy is what protects the people, and it really allows us to advance the ball and move it forward,” Mark D. Jerrell, District 4 commissioner, said.

With the county’s new policy, landlords will have to keep records of how many tenants have vouchers that would be subject to an audit.

There are also penalties for those who refuse vouchers. A first violation would include compliance training and if not fixed, a fine of $100 a day that would reach up to $23,000.

If there are two violations within five years, the fine could go up to $57,500. Three or more violations within seven years would mean fines up to $115,000 and the county could cut ties with the landlord.

Now that this is the policy on both the city and county levels, the hope is more affordable housing will open up to those who need it and allow them to move to better neighborhoods.