Ending Source of Income Discrimination

What is Source of Income (SOI)?

Source of Income is how an individual legally receives their money in order to pay for their housing. Examples include: wages, housing subsidies, Social Security Disability, child support, and alimony. 

 

The State of Illinois currently has NO prohibition on Source of Income discrimination.

More than 50% of the approximately 85,000 households paying some portion of their rent through the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) programs live in communities that allow source of income discrimination. 

What is Source of Income (SOI) Discrimination?

Source of Income discrimination refers to instances when a landlord or other housing provider, denies or otherwise treats unfairly households solely because the household utilizes public benefits, rental assistance, or other non-employment to pay for housing. Further, in light of the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, SOI discrimination is now impacting those who earn their wages through employment in the service industry and similar industries deemed to be unstable. 

 

Without protection against SOI discrimination, tens of thousands of households are potentially cut off from communities that can provide essential place-based opportunities, like access to:

Jobs

Health Centers

Physical Safety

Transit

More than 575,000 Illinois households (including families with children, senior citizens, veterans and people with disabilities) have some form of non-wage income such as a subsidy or benefit, SSI, SSD, TANF, or child support.

What is the goal of this campaign?

The goal of this campaign is to make illegal all forms of Source of Income discrimination and to bring Illinois into alignment with the 18 states and Washington D.C. that already have similar protections. The campaign will be community driven, gives substantial weight to the voices of those impacted, and ensures a seat at the table throughout the policy making process for those impacted.

 

What will this bill do?

This legislation will:

  • Amend the Homelessness Prevention Act, to reduce administrative barriers for housing providers receiving some forms of emergency assistance,

  • Make Source of Income discrimination a human rights violation,

  • Create guidelines for calculating income when using a subsidy,

  • Establish an affirmative defense to eviction filings for non-payment if rental assistance was refused by the landlord

*Landlords can still have tenant selection criteria, however, they will not be able to deny an applicant solely on the basis of their source of income.

 

Who's impacted?

SOI protections exist in 18 states and Washington D.C. and 104 separate localities across the country. Some states, like Massachusetts, have had SOI protections since the 1970s. While the City of Chicago and Cook County are currently protected, the law needs to be strengthened as discrimination remains rampant - a study by Roosevelt University found SOI discrimination present in 48.9% of fair housing tests. Illinois deserves stronger protections that are state-wide. 

Passing this legislation will protect:​

2,681 veterans who use Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers (VASH) in order to avoid homelessness and help pay rent for themselves and their families

214,344 individuals who receive social security survivors benefits

94,500 households who are Housing Choice Voucher holders

Among those living in federally supported housing in Illinois, 18% are Seniors, 21% have a disability(ies), and 60% are families with children

316,498 individuals who are recipients of Social Security Disability (SSD)

264,282 individuals who are recipients of Social Secuirty Insurance (SSI)

 

Hear why you should support HB2775!

Zillow supports source of income discrimination protections as an important tool to help reduce housing barriers, increase housing equity and increase affordable housing opportunities. We... are willing to partner with landlords, property managers, fair housing advocates and public housing authorities to help make those improvements, but we also believe that no household should ever be turned away from obtaining rental housing just because of the source of their income.

How can I support this campaign?

There are

3 ways to support this campaign:

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For questions or to inquire about other ways to get involved, email Michael Chavarria at mchavarria@hcp-chicago.org.

Resources

 

Want to learn more about the precedent for this bill and all the things the legislation will do? Check out our document about this legislation.

 

Our Coalition

 

Our Endorsers

AARP - Illinois State Office

Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center 

Adullam Faith Ministries 

AIDS Foundation Chicago & Center for Housing and Health 

All Chicago  

Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County 

American Legion Post 589 

Amy Chavez, DuPage County Board, District 5 

Arab American Family Services 

BEDS Plus Care 

Black Chicago Tomorrow 

The Burton Foundation 

Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI)

CEDA of Cook County, Inc. 

Center for Changing Lives 

Chicago Housing Justice League 

Under Law Chicago Urban League 

City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor 

Connections for the Homeless 

Corporation for Supportive Housing

Danielle Moon – Private Housing Provider 

DuPage County Housing Authority 

Enterprise Community Partners 

Family Bridges 

GC Housing Development LLC 

H.O.M.E. 

Housing Authority of McDonough County

Housing Forward 

Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies

Illinois National Organization for Women 
IMPACT CIL 
Jacilyn Gunderson - Candidate for Bloomington Mayor

Jeff Crabill, Bloomington City Council, Ward 8 

Jenn Carrillo, Bloomington City Council, Ward 6

Julie Emig, Bloomington City Council, Ward 4

Kelby Cumpston - Candidate for Bloomington City Council (Ward 7) 

League of Women Voters of Illinois 

The Law Offices of Marques A Eason LLC 

Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services

Latino Policy Forum

LIFE Center for Independent Living (LIFE CIL)

LINC, Inc. 

Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity  Council 

Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) 

Northside Community Development Corporation

Northwest Compass 

Northwest Side Housing Center 

Oak Park Housing Authority 

Open Communities 

Patrick Lawler - Candidate for Bloomington City Council  (Ward 5) 

Progress Center for Independent Living 

Project Oz 

RAMP 

Respond Now 

Ronald J Clewer (Affordable Housing Developer)

Sheila Rutledge (DuPage Board member, District 6) 

Soule, Bradtke, and Lambert 

South Suburban Housing Center 

Supportive Housing Providers Association 

Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council

Westside Health Authority  

Willie Holton Halbert - Candidate for Bloomington City  Council (Ward 3) 

Winnebago County Housing Authority 

Working Family Solidarity 

Yulanda Curtis (Veterans Legal Clinic Director)

Zillow