Maryland Senate clears housing bill barring discrimination based on income

It’s already illegal for landlords in six Maryland counties, including Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, to refuse to rent to individuals using housing vouchers.

Now, fair housing protections are closer to covering renters statewide.

The Maryland Senate has passed the HOME Act, which stands for “Housing Opportunities Made Equal.”

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Will Smith, whose district is in Montgomery County, would bar landlords from refusing to accept the vouchers, which are often referred to as “Section 8,” a reference to the federal rental assistance program.

Friday’s 34-12 vote on the Senate floor was followed by comments from Smith, who noted a bill with the same goal was decades in the making.

“This bill has been before us for 20 years,” said Smith.

“This is a pretty big deal for some of us in the body, and I just wanted to say thank you publicly to the members that have worked over the past two decades to get this across the finish line,” Smith said.

A similar bill is being considered in the House of Delegates.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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