Source of Income Discrimination
In searching for a dwelling, many households face discrimination by landlords who are unwilling to rent to voucher holders. As a result, several states and municipalities have adopted laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on source of income. Owners of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and certain types of federally assisted housing are prohibited from discriminating against voucher holders. Source of income protections are invaluable in maximizing a voucher family’s ability to secure safe and decent housing. Below are materials describing efforts to enforce source of income laws on behalf of voucher holders and other useful materials for advocates.
Manuals, Guidebooks, and Reports
- The Poverty and Race Research Action Council regularly updates its Compilation of State and Local Source of Income Laws, a valuable resource for those advocates working on state and local SOI laws.
- In its Housing Law Bulletin, NHLP published several articles on the legal challenges to SOI laws across the country. The first one, focused on Landlord Defenses to Source of Income Laws and the second, about states that Uphold Source of Income Discrimination Laws provide arguments to support (and defend) local and state voucher nondiscrimination policies.
- In Sabi v. Sterling, a voucher tenant filed suit alleging that defendants violated California laws prohibiting discrimination based on source of income.
- In AAGLA v. City of Santa Monica, a group of realtors and landlords in California sued the City arguing that a local Source of Income ordinance was preempted by state law.
- Advocates successfully fought a challenge to Austin’s city ordinance prohibiting discrimination against tenants participating in the voucher program in Austin Apt. Ass’n v. City of Austin, 89 F. Supp. 3d 886 (W.D. Tex. 2015).