Minneapolis landlords win suit to block Section 8 anti-discrimination law

A judge has struck down a city ordinance in Minneapolis that bans landlords from discriminating against prospective renters solely because they receive Section 8 vouchers.

The city council passed the law last year. It prohibits apartment ads that say "no Section 8" but does not require property owners to accept vouchers.

Fifty-five landlords sued to block the measure, and Hennepin County Judge Bruce Peterson sided with them in a ruling this week.

He wrote that the ordinance is, "the result of hard work by many people of good will," but is still invalid because it violates landlords' due process rights and tars all of them with the brush of discrimination.

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Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal plans to appeal, and said that the law is hardly unprecedented.

"There are a number of provisions like this in both state laws and city ordinances elsewhere in the country that have been there, actually, for quite a long time," Segal said.

An attorney for the landlords declined to comment.

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority — which runs the city's Section 8 program — called the ruling disappointing.