LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County Commissioners passed an ordinance on Tuesday protecting renters who need assistance or have been evicted because of the coronavirus.
The intention is to help avoid a potential explosion of homelessness brought about by the pandemic when Nevada's eviction moratorium for residential renters ends next month.
Commissioner Justin Jones proposed the ordinance, which prevents landlords from discriminating against anyone based on their source of income.
If a renter can't pay, the landlord can still refuse to give them an apartment, but the landlord can not look at where the money comes from so long as the renter can pay and it's a legal source.
The rule is designed to help people accepting state aid or housing vouchers to get a roof over their heads.
"This is the time that you can help us so that we can move forward," Cassie Goff said to members of the commission during the Clark County Commission meeting.
"We can't do that if we don't have this bill passed," Goff, a mother in the process of being evicted, added. "Where am I going to be able to stay?"
The ordinance also makes it illegal for a landlord to consider an eviction caused by the pandemic when deciding to rent an apartment.
Suzy Vasquez, the director of the Nevada State Apartment Association, an organization that represents landlords, opposes the ordinance.
She says protections already exist and during the meeting, she advocated for landlords to have more access to housing voucher programs and establish a short timeline for voucher reviews.
The ordinance passed unanimously and goes into effect immediately, meaning as of Tuesday it is a misdemeanor for landlords to break these rules.