The bill would forbid landlords from rejecting potential or current tenants who depend on alternative sources of income and benefits such as Social Security, veteran benefits and Section 8 housing vouchers.

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OLYMPIA — Legislation in Olympia to ban discrimination by landlords against renters based on sources of income has failed over the years, but that may change this year — with the help of landlords.

The bill would forbid landlords from rejecting potential or current tenants who depend on alternative sources of income and benefits such as Social Security, veteran benefits and Section 8 housing vouchers.

Senate Bill 5407 , sponsored by Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, is similar to Seattle’s 2016 ordinance banning housing discrimination based on source of income.

The bill passed the Senate 33-14 on Friday. A similar bill passed the House also on Friday, but the two measures must be reconciled before final approval.

Under state and federal law it’s illegal to deny housing for reasons such as race, sex and religion, among other things, but not for source of income.

Mindy Woods, who testified at a public hearing for the bill, said she applied for nine different apartments and was denied each time — for no apparent reason.

In 2016, Woods was homeless for eight months in Edmonds before she was able to find a landlord who accepted her Section 8 voucher and Social Security as income. The situation forced her to separate from her son, who moved in with a friend.

“It’s all been really traumatic,” Woods said.

Landlord groups have previously opposed such sources-of-income legislation. But this year, landlord associations and tenant advocacy groups are working to cut a deal.

Part of that conversation is a proposed mitigation fund that could be used by landlords who worry about the liability of renting to lower-income people who rely on alternative forms of income.

Landlords accepting certain tenants who receive assistance could be reimbursed up to $1,000 for required renovations to their properties, and for up to 14 days of rental losses. The fund also could cover certain repairs to property damage caused by tenants.

The money would come from an additional $3 recording fee on real-estate documents, raising $1.5 million annually, according a legislative analysis of the bill.

But even as they work toward a deal, each side has some qualms about a mitigation fund.

Co-sponsor Sen. Paddy Kuderer, D-Bellevue, supported the bill even though she said a mitigation fund is unnecessary because there is no evidence lower-income renters are more likely to cause property damage.

The issue is a personal one for Kuderer, a discrimination attorney and landlord.

“I rented to affluent college men and they damaged my property,” she said.

Rep. Andrew Barkis, R-Olympia, a landlord and real-estate property manager for 25 years who has been advising negotiations, said the risks of renting to people using alternative forms of income are real, even if that doesn’t apply to every tenant.

“It can happen and does happen,” he said.

Michele Thomas, the director of policy for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, said the idea that people with low incomes are worse tenants has created a barrier for people already struggling to find housing, especially on Craigslist ads.

Rob Trickler, president of the Washington Landlord Association, said there were other concerns as well. The bill’s requirement for a judgment against a tenant in order to access the mitigation fund could create an incentive for landlords to sue tenants in small-claims courts.

Frockt said an agreement with the state’s Department of Commerce would address those concerns and allow an alternative form of judgment. Rather than sue, landlords would be able to provide the commerce department with proof of damages, under penalty of perjury, to access the fund.

A study conducted in the summer of 2016 by a former University of Washington researcher, Kathleen Moore, found that discrimination based on source of income was rampant across the country.

Over the course of two months, 6,000 emails were sent responding to rental listings on Craigslist in 14 different cities, including Seattle, Boston, Portland, Miami and San Diego. Half the emails were presented as tenants with housing-assistance vouchers while the other half weren’t.

“Across the board voucher holders are less likely to see a positive response in these early interactions,” said Moore, who conducted the study for her doctorate dissertation from the UW. Her work focuses on low-income housing and homeless policy in the U.S.

The study found that a voucher holder received a negative response from landlords 90 percent of the time.

If the housing-discrimination law is passed, Washington would join 12 other states with laws that ban discrimination based on source of income, but it would be the first to implement such a law with a mitigation fund.