A Denton County landlords association will no longer allow Section 8 tenants, under new tenancy and tenancy rules it passed earlier this month.
The government-subsidized housing assistance program enables private landlords to rent apartments and houses to qualified low-income tenants.
Some estimate that the new HOA rules could displace hundreds of families in the town of Providence Village.
Revisha Threats, a single mother and small business owner, could be one of them.
“I will be homeless. I’m going to use this money I get back from a deposit and put everything in storage and I don’t know where to live if I can afford a hotel,” Threats said.
Stephen Smith, husband and father of three, could also be deported. He was a truck driver who is now disabled.
He says the Section 8 voucher program helped stabilize his family after he was injured on the job.
“As a father, I was happy because I still had the chance to provide for my family. Going to great schools, being safe. It felt good,” Smith said.
Providence HOA has thousands of homes in the city of Providence Village.
Earlier this month, the HOA approved new rental and tenancy rules, including a Section 8 housing restriction, which states that “a rental home cannot be used for a housing program publicly funded or subsidized, such as Section 8” housing.
It says landlords face a fine of $300 per week for unauthorized rental.
“I can’t think of any other way to sum it up other than discrimination,” Smith said.
NBC 5 called and emailed Providence HOA but got no response.
Jessica Vittorio is an attorney at the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center, which she says is investigating the potential legal consequences of HOA actions.
“There’s definitely a correlation and a disproportionate effect on certain races and ethnicities that are going to become homeless and kicked out of their homes because of this decision and that’s what becomes problematic under the law,” Vittorio said. .
Owners say it’s unclear when the changes are expected to take effect.
Smith and Threats say their landlords are on their side and working to try to keep tenants in their homes. They say they have been criticized and threatened for speaking out about their Article 8 status.
On Tuesday night, Providence Village Mayor Linda Inman addressed the issue.
“None of these issues will be resolved if we just fill our comments and everything with hate as I’ve seen,” Inman said.