Legislative Session Weekly Update 6 - Feb 27, 23
\LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2023
WEEK 6 UPDATE
Four Days Left!
This is the last week of the legislature! The session ends Friday, March 2nd, at midnight.
This week our appropriation for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Guarantee Fund was approved for $400,000. We hope this will last a year. This means any applications that are pending will be approved and paid when the money is allocated on July 1, 2023.
The Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Guarantee Fund is something that was set up at the request of the Rental Housing Association, to mitigate costs by being required, in Utah, to rent to tenants on Section 8 vouchers, IF they meet all other rental criteria. The fund pays up to $5,000 to a landlord who rented to someone on Section 8, for lost rent and damages. Currently, a judgement against the tenant is required. More info on the Fund can be found at Section 8 Landlord Incentive Program.
HB 314:Remedies for Victims of Domestic Violence by Rep. Marsha Judkins - The bill has passed the Senate. This means that the bill must be signed by the Governor.
HB 420: Eviction Amendments by Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost - This bill did not receive a hearing in the House. It is unlikely, but theoretically possible, that it could go directly to the House floor for a vote. This is a terrible bill because it messes with a system that’s working spectacularly. Because of strict and clear penalties, our eviction filing rate in Utah has fallen 50% in the past decade. Even after evictions are filed, another 50% are settled. Utah is one of the lowest states in the country for evictions.
This bill would weaken the consequences of evictions by removing mandatory treble damages. If you want to increase behaviors, you decrease the penalty for that behavior. Weakening the consequences of evictions by removing mandatory treble damages would, in our opinion, increase the number of evictions in Utah and hurt both landlords and renters. It’s a very bad idea.