The Idaho Senate has passed a Bill that would do away with the protections afforded to Boise tenants

Boise, ID: The Idaho Senate passed HB 545 on Monday. This bill would get rid of Boise’s $30 rental application fee cap and stop the city from forcing big owners to take Section 8 vouchers. It is now on its way to Gov. Brad Little.

The rental application fee ordinance for the City of Boise was made law because some owners were charging high fees and taking a lot of applications, using the fees as a way to make extra money.

The talk about Section 8 vouchers comes after Boise passed a set of renter rights last year, one of which was against discrimination based on source of income. But landlords have to look at Section 8 applicants. They can still turn down renters and set their own rents. The coupons give the landlord money to cover the rent.

People who were against the bill said that it came down to giving cities the power to fix Idaho’s housing problem and letting them be in charge of their own affairs.

The bill’s backers, on the other hand, said it was about personal freedom and the free market. They also said that landlords shouldn’t have to take vouchers.

Trying to get around city laws is part of a “alarming trend,” said Sen. Ali Rabe, D-Boise, who works as the executive head of a local housing nonprofit called Jesse Tree. She said the bill would get rid of a Boise law that says renters should get their security deposits back when a building is torn down.

Sen. Linda Wright Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, said she thought housing problems should be handled by the neighborhood level.

The bill was brought to the floor by Sen. Doug Okuniewicz, R-Hayden. He said it is easy to understand.

“The goal is very simple: to make sure that a city or county, for example, cannot tell you or force you to lower your rent at your rental property,” Okuniewicz explained.

Senator Dan Foreman, R-Moscow, said that the bill doesn’t say anything about housing support programs; it just doesn’t require people to take part.

“Some words come to mind when I think about this kind of problem. “Words like free market, capitalism, and private sector,” Foreman said. “This is a good, simple bill that I fully support.”

“The city can only do so much” to help with housing, said Nicki Hellenkamp, who works for the mayor as a housing counselor.

The vouchers and the city’s new rental security laws went into effect on January 1, she said, and no landlords have contacted her with problems since then. We need to protect consumers not because all industries are bad, but because there are bad people in all of them.

Hellenkamp said, “The housing situation for Boiseans continues to be really tough.” “I believe that these rules mainly protect consumers in very basic ways.”

The bill would become law on July 1.