ICP’s Second Apartment Survey Shows Abysmal Results as Rampant Discrimination against Housing Choice Voucher Holders Continues to Segregate North Texas Households

Three years after release of its 2017 landlord survey report, which showed only 12% of landlords in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties accepting renters who use housing choice voucher subsidies, the Inclusive Communities Project’s (ICP) 2020 report shows worse results with only seven percent (7%) acceptance. For Dallas County alone, the acceptance rate was seven percent (7%). The organization’s 2020 results are based on a survey of 1413 reasonably priced private market apartment complexes.

Within four months of President Trump’s dog whistle that promised suburban moms that he would protect them from “low income housing,” the affordable fair housing group’s findings reveal what has been long known. Both private and public actors continue to engaged in exclusionary housing practices that make much of Dallas Metroplex’ rental housing off-limits to low income voucher families. With the majority of housing voucher used by predominantly Black households in the Dallas region, ICP president Demetria McCain says that “it has been a segregative promise fulfilled year after year—no dog whistle needed”.

ICP’s 2020 survey results revealed that only 5% of the complexes in majority white non-Hispanic zip codes accepted HCVs, while 22% in majority Black zip codes accept HCVs. This compares to equally troubling rates from its 2017 survey where 5% in majority white non-Hispanic zip codes said yes to housing vouchers and 46% in majority Black zip codes said yes.

Of the cities within the counties surveyed, eighteen (18) municipalities host landlords who reject families with vouchers 100% of the time. ICP refers to these cities as voucher no-go zones. Voucher no-go zones even included jurisdictions that are annually given HUD funds and are presumed to be actively furthering fair housing. These cities included the majority white municipalities of Allen, Flower Mound and Rowlett.

Refusals by landlords to accept residents who use housing choice vouchers severely limit opportunities of families. With so many voucher no-go zones, households are often steered to high-poverty underserved Black and Latinx neighborhoods—areas where all voucher holders do not choose to live. Based on the HUD sponsored 2018 study “A Pilot Study of Landlord Acceptance of Housing Choice Vouchers”, the federal agency determined that the lack of landlord participation is a crisis for the Housing Choice Voucher program and the families trying to use it.

To view county specific results from the survey, visit ICP’s blog page at https://www.inclusivecommunities.net/icp-knowledge/. The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) is a not-for-profit organization that works for the creation and maintenance of thriving racially and economically inclusive communities, expansion of fair and affordable housing opportunities for low income families, and redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the harmful effects of discrimination and segregation.

info graphic of 2020 apartment survey results
Shows percentage and number of rejections of voucher holders