In an effort to promote fair housing and prevent discrimination, the Texas Legislature has passed House Bill 1193 (H.B. 1193), a significant piece of legislation that impacts property owners’ associations and residential tenants. This bill, set to take effect on September 1, 2023, prohibits housing discrimination based on a tenant’s method of payment.
The genesis of H.B. 1193 was a controversial rule passed by a homeowners association (HOA) in Denton County, Texas. The rule prohibited tenants who participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, from renting homes governed by the association. This rule disproportionately affected residents who were Black and female, sparking a debate about housing discrimination and the need for legislative intervention.
What Does H.B. 1193 Do?
H.B. 1193 prohibits a property owners’ association from including or enforcing a provision in a dedicatory instrument that prohibits or restricts a property owner from renting a dwelling to a person based on the person’s method of payment. This includes payments made in whole or part by a housing choice voucher under Section 8, United States Housing Act of 1937, or any other federal, state, or local housing assistance provided to a person or to a property owner on behalf of a person. This also includes rental vouchers, rental assistance, or rental subsidies from a non-governmental organization.
Why is H.B. 1193 Important?
This legislation is a significant step towards ensuring fair housing practices in Texas. By prohibiting discrimination based on a tenant’s method of payment, H.B. 1193 helps to protect vulnerable populations who rely on housing assistance. This includes low-income families, the elderly, and disabled individuals who often face barriers to secure housing.
Furthermore, H.B. 1193 upholds the principle of economic freedom, a cornerstone of the Texas economy. It affirms that property owners should have the freedom to accept payment for and dispose of their property as they wish, without undue restrictions imposed by homeowners’ associations.
Impact on Property Owners’ Associations
For property owners’ associations, H.B. 1193 necessitates a review and potential revision of their existing rules and regulations. Any provisions that prohibit or restrict a property owner from renting a dwelling to a person based on their method of payment will need to be removed or amended to comply with the new law.
H.B. 1193 represents a significant shift in Texas housing law, aiming to promote fair housing and prevent discrimination based on a tenant’s method of payment. As we move towards the bill’s effective date, property owners’ associations will need to ensure their rules and regulations comply with this new legislation. For tenants, particularly those who rely on housing assistance, H.B. 1193 offers increased protection and the promise of fairer housing practices in Texas.
As always, it’s important to stay informed about changes in legislation that may impact you. If you have any questions about H.B. 1193 or how it might affect you, consider reaching out to a legal professional for advice.