Mesa residents on Section 8 have trouble finding landlords accepting vouchers

While applications for more vouchers were recently handed out, those in the East Valley say they're having trouble finding landlords to accept them.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 12:26 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Surging rent prices are impacting many Arizona families. Many people have shared their stories of being told to pay more or move out. Unfortunately, it’s now affecting those who are already on rental assistance.

Some say it’s become a full-time job to find a landlord who will accept rent assistance vouchers.

In Mesa, the city’s housing authority closed applications for its next round of Section 8 vouchers last week. The city will fill 4,000 spots on its waitlist. Officials were anticipating 10,000 people would apply, but they received twice that. A city spokesperson said they received 20,110 applications.

Bennie Autrey, a Mesa resident, is on rental assistance. He says good luck to the people who get a spot on the next round because finding a landlord who will accept them is tough. He said his last landlord told him they would no longer take those vouchers.

“The last three months came and said we all had to leave they weren’t taking any more Section 8 housing. It put us all out,” he said.

Autrey said he’d been living at that place for the last seven years on rental assistance. Now, he says he’s living in a shelter, trying to find a place that will accept the vouchers. He said he’s called nearly 40 places on the Section 8 list and says there’s nothing available, or they’re not being taken anymore.

“I wish they would settle and find us a place to go, in one big place so we all have somewhere to go. Instead of having to pick and choose, pick and choose to see who’s going to take us,” Autrey said.

The city spokesperson said they are finding that it’s taking people longer to find a place. In addition, housing authority officials said they are noticing a drop in the number of landlords participating in Section 8 housing because they could get more money at the market rate.