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:
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.
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:
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?
3 ways to support this campaign:
For questions or to inquire about other ways to get involved, email Michael Chavarria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Illinois Coalition for Fair Housing is a growing group of impacted community members and advocates committed to making housing access in Illinois equitable and just. Our members include:
AARP - Illinois State Office
Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center
Adullam Faith Ministries
AIDS Foundation Chicago & Center for Housing and Health
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
GC Housing Development LLC
Housing Authority of McDonough County
Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies
Illinois National Organization for Women
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)
Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council
Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO)
Northside Community Development Corporation
Northwest Side Housing Center
Oak Park Housing Authority
Patrick Lawler - Candidate for Bloomington City Council (Ward 5)
Progress Center for Independent Living
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)