A longstanding shortcoming of the State of Illinois’ fair housing law is that it does not offer protections against discrimination based on legal sources of income. This allows landlords to discriminate and deny housing to people who pay for their housing with social security, veterans benefits, child support, Housing Choice Vouchers, or any other type of non-wage income.
Nineteen states across the country already offer source of income fair housing protections, but Illinois does not.
Our legislators should make Illinois the 20th state with source of income protections by passing HB 2775 by the end of the current General Assembly session on April 8.
Over half of Illinois households (2.7 million out of 4.8 million) are susceptible to source of income discrimination because they earn non-wage income, such as social security, retirement income, and public assistance. In addition, about 99,000 households who use Housing Choice Vouchers to pay their rent often experience source of income discrimination.
Many people would benefit from passage of HB 2775, including:
This legislation provides the opportunity for individuals and families currently shut out of housing opportunities to make their case to a landlord that they will be a good tenant. While not guaranteeing housing, or requiring any landlord to rent to any specific applicant, this legislation will level the playing field for all Illinoisans with non-wage income to access a fuller range of housing options.
HB 2775 passed the House almost a year ago, in April 2021, but the Senate has yet to take action on the bill. In March 2022, as the result of negotiations with many of the opponents, an agreement was reached to amend the bill to focus on the core source of income protections that 19 other states already have.
We must ensure no one is denied a home based on their source of income at a time when housing costs are increasing in many communities due to the pandemic, inflation, and other factors.
Take action right now to ask that your state legislators vote in favor of creating statewide source of income protections to expand housing opportunities for all before the General Assembly adjourns on April 8.
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