Tenant is obligated to move out after Section 8 voucher is no longer accepted

Arizona renters are facing huge challenges as demand for apartments increases and supply cannot keep up.

That meant rent increases, with rates in some places higher than they’ve ever been.

And low-income renters are the hardest hit.

Margaret has been spending a lot of time on her computer lately looking at apartments.

The 80-year-old has lived in the Villa Montana complex in Scottsdale for 19 years, but Margaret says they are terminating her lease because they no longer accept Section 8 vouchers.

She was given 60 days notice and is due out by March 31.

I asked what Margaret had done when she received the notice.

“I prayed and didn’t know what else to do so I did this. 60 days isn’t long to find a new place,” she tells me.

Margaret says there’s no way she could have paid the nearly $1,400 rent herself and that a new lease would mean an increase of about $300.

The government’s Section 8 voucher program pays most of her rent.

His share is automatically debited from his bank account.

She says she has never been late with a payment and has made those payments throughout the pandemic.

“That’s how my mother raised me. You pay your bills,” Margaret says.

Despite dozens of calls to apartment complexes, she says she can’t find any Section 8s accepting unless they have years of waiting.

“I’ve had friends say this apartment accepts Section 8. I called them and they said we don’t accept it anymore,” Margaret says.

This has become a big problem as rental demand increases.

Landlords know they can charge higher rates elsewhere and don’t have to deal with some of the tougher Section 8 rules.

Tessa at Mesa let me know her resort doesn’t want to deal with Section 8 telling her they are not getting paid on time or losing money on late fees.

Tessa says “we’re all going to be homeless soon”.

Martin says it’s the same at his Phoenix compound.

He says he has 3 boys, two of whom are autistic, and has “nowhere to go”.

We went to the offices of Villa Montana to ask why Section 8 was changing.

They told us to contact the owners.

We called and emailed the Al Angelo Society of Washington State.

Nobody answered.

Margaret says she was offered a month-to-month lease, but she would have to pay it without government help and can’t afford it.

So she keeps packing and says she gives away a lot of her stuff.

Margaret is better off than some.

She has two children in the region.

She might move in with her daughter, although the two laughed at the idea when I was there.

It would mean a move to Maricopa, away from Margaret’s church, her doctors and the life she has led for 19 years.

“It’s a lot of us who are suffering. It’s a lot of us who are praying day and night,” says Margaret,

If you know of an apartment in the valley that accepts Section 8 vouchers or know of a low cost rental, please let me know.

Email me with some details at [email protected] and I’ll make sure to pass the info on to Margaret and others.

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About Gene Schafer

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