VOICES: The City of Dayton should not mandate providers to join voluntary program

Editor’s Note: At the City of Dayton Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 1, an ordinance to prohibit source of income discrimination was scheduled for a vote. Hear from two sides of the proposed ordinance, which passed, in today’s Ideas & Voices.

The City of Dayton has been planning on pushing this legislation through despite combined efforts of the following housing providers in Dayton area: Greater Dayton Real Estate Investors Association (GDREIA), Greater Dayton Apartment Association(GDAA), Dayton Realtors, National Apartment Association (NAA), Ohio Real Estate Investors Association (OREIA).

These housing providers met over last couple of months, face-to-face with Mayor Mims and Commissioners Shaw and Joseph for an hour-long conversation. They also met separately with Commissioners Fairchild and Turner-Sloss for an hour-long zoom session to express why this legislation may lead to unintended consequences which might make the housing shortage worse.

Here are some salient points as to why we oppose this legislation Ordinance No. 32024-23:

  • This legislation would require Housing Providers to join the HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program, where HUD required voluntary participation only.
  • The City of Dayton should not be mandating providers to join a voluntary program.
  • This program is riddled with bureaucratic hurdles at GDPM that will cause many providers to leave the city rather than be subjected to the burdensome requirements of the program.
  • It will only result in further increases in rents and decrease in affordable housing inventory, which is the reverse of what City is intending with this legislation. We need more affordable housing in Dayton, not less.
  • Although this legislation would not require housing providers to take vouchers, it would make it illegal for providers to reject an applicant due to them having a voucher, effectively requiring all housing providers in the city of Dayton to join the HUD Voucher program, which causes them to jump over massive bureaucratic hurdles and exacerbates our housing crisis.
  • The CEO of GDPM in her meetings with Commissioners Joseph and Shaw openly admitted to the delays and inspection inconsistencies we quoted in our meeting and promised to work on fixing them moving forward. Instead of waiting for the performance reviews, the City Commission moved forward with passing this resolution in the hopes it would elevate affordable housing supply, thus driving up the rents and causing hardship to already financially challenged renters.

Sham Reddy is a past President of Dayton Realtors and current board member for GDREIA and Ohio REIA.

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