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Boise approves new tenant protection laws

City of Boise logo featuring the Capitol, building with trees on either side and the words Boise City of Trees on a red brick background.
Lacey Daley
Boise State Public Radio

Landlords in Boise will have new regulations to follow after city council members on Tuesday approved additional protections for renters.

Landlords will no longer be able to retaliate against tenants who request repairs or complain about their living conditions. They’ll also need to direct each renter to a city website outlining their rights under Idaho law.

And property owners won’t be able to discriminate against people due to their income or ability to pay rent with a housing voucher.

Council president Jimmy Hallyburton said he routinely saw this discrimination happening with people he knew trying to exit homelessness who had valid housing vouchers.

“These were people who were desperately trying to get back on their feet who were actively employed and just trying to find a place to stay that were facing this additional barrier and I saw how demoralizing it was for them,” Hallyburton said.

Councilmember Luci Willits cast the only no vote, saying the policies only sound good in theory.

“At the end of the day, it could even lower the housing inventory because folks are going to sell if they don’t want to deal with this because of all of the bureaucracy that it can entail,” Willits said.

But something needs to be done to break up concentrated pockets of poverty in Boise, according to Councilmember Colin Nash.

“I am hopeful that this will be successful in alleviating some of that burden so that people are not bound to their zip code and that does not determine their future,” Nash said.

The anti-retaliation policy takes effect immediately, while the anti-discrimination piece will be implemented Jan. 1, 2024.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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