KLC Opposes Property Rights Bill

A property rights bill that restricts city and county governments cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday with an 8-1 vote.

Senate Bill 25, a property rights bill sponsored by Sen. Steve West, R-Paris, a real estate attorney, seeks to limit the ability of city or county government to mandate a landlord take Section 8 Housing.

“We’re trying to get out in front of an issue,” West said in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

KLC Director of Public Affairs Bryanna L. Carroll testified against the bill as it conflicts with ‘Home Rule,’ which allows local decisions to be made at the local level. KLC’s Board of Directors voted to oppose the legislation at their most recent board meeting.

West said the bill is meant to make “crystal clear” to property owners and bank lenders that they have control of their property.

The two-paragraph bill creates new sections of KRS Chapter 383 to prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance that requires a landlord to participate in a housing program under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937; prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance relating to landlord and tenant laws that conflicts with state law.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban City Council has indicated they will debate banning the source of income for landlords.

Senator Chambers Armstrong voted against the legislation in committee.

Also opposing the bill were the Louisville Coalition for the Homeless, the Lexington Tenants Union, and Lexington Councilwoman Shayla Lynch, who shared that Lexington’s ordinance does not force landlords to participate in Section 8.

The legislation now heads to the full Senate for its consideration.