Voting Rights and Access for Residents at HUD-Assisted Properties
The Office of Multifamily Housing Programs is making multifamily owners/agents of HUD-assisted properties aware that residents have the right to access voter registration activities and to participate in the electoral process.
Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, Congress has found that the right of citizens to vote is a fundamental right and that it is the duty of the Federal, State, and local governments to promote the exercise of that right.
HUD is asking owners to share voter and election resources with residents, including encouraging residents to visit vote.gov. This website provides helpful information, including how to register to vote, voter registration deadlines, and specific information about state and local elections.
Many rules about voting are set by states, so owners should check with their counsel to ensure that all activities are compliant with local and state law.
Permissible activities at Multifamily-assisted properties include:
- Permitting the use of community space on an incidental basis to hold meetings, candidate forums, or voter registration, provided that all parties and organizations have access to the facility on an equal basis and are assessed equal rent or use charges.
- Collaborating with local election administrators to permit the use of space for voter drop boxes and voting sites, including for early voting.
Owners/agents may not use Section 8, PRAC, or project funds to finance the use of facilities or equipment for partisan political purposes or partisan political activities that favor one candidate, party or political position over another. Any voter registration activities undertaken should not be partisan. Impermissible activities include any act that would:
- Suggest that benefits are in any way tied to a participant's voting activity, or
- Give the appearance that the processes of voter registration or voting are not voluntary processes.
You are reminded that federal laws, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), require that the voting process, including voter registration, site selection, and casting ballots be accessible for individuals with disabilities. For example, any community space used for voting access must be accessible. See https://www.ada.gov/ada_voting/ada_voting_ta.htm for additional information.
Thank you for your commitment to making sure that HUD-assisted residents have access to this important information.