Alameda City prosecutors successfully resolve discrimination complaint

Published on August 03, 2021


Alameda City prosecutors successfully resolve discrimination complaint against Alameda landlord refusing Section 8 tenants

The Prosecution Unit of the Alameda City Attorney’s Office has reached an out-of-court settlement with an Alameda landlord, successfully resolving alleged violations of the City’s Fair Housing laws.

A member of the public complained to the City that they were looking for an apartment online, when they saw a rental in Alameda that was advertised by the landlord as “No Section 8.” The Prosecution Unit then confirmed the landlord’s general refusal to rent to Section 8 tenants. Section 8 is a federal housing subsidy program that helps very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing. 

In September 2019, the Alameda City Council adopted comprehensive local Fair Housing laws, which in part made it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants or applicants on the basis of their “source of income” – which includes those who use a federal subsidy such as a Section 8 voucher, to help pay the rent. This law also prohibits any advertisement that discriminates on source of income – such as barring (or discouraging) Section 8 voucher-holders from applying.

Under the settlement, the landlord is paying a penalty in the amount $6,500, $5,000 of which will be provided to the applicant who filed the complaint.

The landlord, who owns multiple rental properties in Alameda, has also agreed to the following:

  • Mandatory training in Fair Housing laws for property managers and all other employees
  • Obeying all anti-discrimination and tenant protection laws
  • When there is a required income level for tenants (such as 2 times the rent), it will only apply to the tenant’s portion of rent, after any voucher is used

“The City of Alameda has consistently dedicated policies and resources toward producing, protecting, and preserving housing in our community,” said City Attorney Yibin Shen. “City Prosecutors are committed to justly enforcing state and local laws and ensuring that Alameda remains a place that people from all income levels and backgrounds can call home.” The case was investigated and prosecuted by Deputy City Prosecutor Montague Hung and Paralegal-Investigator Elizabeth Martinez.

The Alameda City Attorney Office’s Prosecution Unit is committed to justice and helping Alameda residents. The Unit resolves consumer protection, labor, and fair housing issues through education and public outreach. When appropriate, the Unit enforces these laws to protect the public from unfair and unlawful practices.

If you have questions or would like to report an issue, please contact the Prosecution Unit at 510-747-4772 or email

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