Can landlords opt out of the Section 8 rental program?

The Section 8 federal housing voucher program was conceived as one in which owners of rental properties participate voluntarily, but that may be changing. One straw in the wind: the push for “source of income discrimination” laws prohibiting landlords from turning away Section 8 tenants. Another: a new Third Circuit decision declaring that the owner of a unit converted to market-rate could not refuse to renew a lease even after the original tenant died. I look at Hayes v. Harvey in my new post at Cato.


  • Re: Philip Harvey
    A right of inheritance to someone else’s property. Couple that with compulsory acceptance of Section 8 tenants, and you’ll have another ingredient in the pattern of a failed housing market.The investment challenge can bring construction and renovation to a complete halt. Who would take the risk without years of negotiation?
    Hello Houston.

  • A voucher isn’t legal tender. A check isn’t legal tender. I cannot be required to take electronic payment.

    Cash money is legal tender.

    Therefore, I can refuse to provide services if they are not paid in legal tender.

    Acceptance of payments in forms other than legal tender is voluntary on my part.

    On a more practical level, incentives matter. Make it a pain in the neck for landlords and less of them will participate.