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"Don't know which way to turn." Another renter forced to move after Section 8 voucher no longer accepted

Posted at 2:00 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 10:01:24-04

Arizona renters are facing huge challenges as demand for apartments grows and supply can't keep up.

It's meant rent increases, with rates in some places higher than they've ever been.

And lower income renters are being hit the hardest.

Margaret has spent a lot of time on her computer lately looking at apartments.

For 19 years, the 80-year-old has lived at Scottsdale's Villa Montana complex, but Margaret says they are terminating her lease because they are no longer accepting Section 8 vouchers.

She got a 60-day notice and needs to be out by March 31st.

I asked what Margaret did when she got the notice.

"I prayed and I didn't know what else to do so I did that. 60 days it not long to find a new place," she tells me.

Margaret says there's no way she could have paid the nearly $1,400 rent on her own and a new lease would mean about a $300 increase.

The government Section 8 voucher program pays most of her rent.

Her part is automatically taken out of her bank account.

She says she's never been late with a payment and made those payments throughout the pandemic.

"That's the way my mom raised me. You pay your bills," Margaret says.

Despite the dozens of calls to apartments complexes, she says she can't find any accepting Section 8 unless they have years long waits.

"I had friends say this apartment accepts Section 8. I called them and they say we don't accept it any longer," Margaret says.

It's become a big problem as rental demand grows.

Property owners know they can seek higher rates elsewhere and don't have to deal with some of the stricter Section 8 rules.

Tessa in Mesa let me know her complex doesn't want to deal with Section 8 telling her they don't get paid on time or lose money on late fees.

Tessa says, "we are all going to be homeless soon."

Martin says it's the same at his Phoenix complex.

He says he has 3 boys, two with autism, and that he has "nowhere to go."

We went to Villa Montana offices asking why the Section 8 change.

They told us to contact the owners.

We called and emailed the Al Angelo Company out of Washington state.

No one replied.

Margaret says she was offered a month-to-month lease but she'd have to pay it without government help and cannot afford it.

So, she continues to pack up and says she's giving away many of her belongings.

Margaret is better off than some.

She has two children in the area.

She could move in with her daughter, though both laughed at the idea when I was there.

That would mean a move to Maricopa, far away from Margaret's church, her doctors and the life she's lived for the last 19 years.

"It's a lot of us that's hurting. It's a lot of us whose praying every day and night," Margaret says,

If you know of any Valley apartment accepting Section 8 vouchers or if you know of any rental with a low rate, please let me know.

Email me with some details at and I'll make sure to pass the information on to Margaret and the others.