Rep. Chris Turner’s Anti-Discrimination Property Rights Legislation to become Law

AUSTIN, TX –  This weekend, HB 1193 by Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie) was filed without the governor’s signature and will officially become law. HB 1193 will prohibit a property owners’ association from preventing a homeowner from renting their house to a person based on their method of payment. 

The bill was filed after a property owners’ association in North Texas banned homeowners from renting their own homes to Section 8 Voucher recipients. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental assistance payments on behalf of low-income individuals and families, including the elderly and persons with disabilities. This policy was blatantly discriminatory, as 93% of households affected by the ban were black, and all but five had women as the head of their household. 

Due to its discriminatory nature, implementation of the Section 8 ban that spurred this legislation is on hold as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigates whether the rule violates the Fair Housing Act. However, residents and fair housing advocates alike fear that this ban could be emulated by other property owners’ associations. With the passage of Turner’s legislation, such a policy will now be illegal in the state of Texas as of September 1, 2023.  

“Property owners’ associations are an asset to our state, providing valuable services and amenities to residents and maintaining home values. However, we simply cannot allow these associations to become a vehicle for discrimination, even in isolated cases,” said Turner. “Section 8 Vouchers assist low income Texans in affording decent, safe, and sanitary housing. There is no reasonable justification for banning these residents from living in any neighborhood.

“Further, private property owners in Texas should have the option to rent to whomever they choose. When property owners’ associations enact harmful, overreaching policies that are so far beyond the scope of their purpose, the state must step in to protect homeowners and renters.”