HUD Launches Website to Combat Income Discrimination

In a new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) release, Richard J. Monocchio, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, announced the launch of HUD’s new website, which will clarify protections against Source of Income (SOI) discrimination for families receiving Housing Choice Vouchers. SOI discrimination occurs when landlords, owners, and real estate brokers refuse to rent to current or potential qualifying tenants receiving an HCV or other types of public assistance.

The Source of Income Protections website is a “one-stop shop” for HUD stakeholders, summarizing existing materials to explain what SOI discrimination looks like, identifying states and local jurisdictions that prohibit it, and providing resources for people who believe they have faced this type of discrimination.

“Denying housing to Veterans, families with young children, or people trying to get off the street just because they get help to pay their rent preserves the legacy of discrimination, especially during this affordable housing crisis,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Source of Income protections are important for families to thrive regardless of their economic status.”

HUD launches this resource in accordance with the principles outlined in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for a Renter’s Bill of Rights, and at a time when low-income families confront significant problems in locating safe, quality, and affordable housing. Using all of its resources, HUD is committed to ensuring that families with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) have access to the housing and neighborhoods of their choice.

“There is no reason that those with vouchers should face discriminatory barriers that hinder or halt their housing search. This experience is still all too common for renters, despite having Source of Income protections in many states and jurisdictions. In order to address this issue, it is important to work with stakeholders to eliminate those practices,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Richard J. Monocchio. “HUD’s new webpage provides useful information to everyone — tenants, landlords, housing authorities, and others — with the ultimate goal of improving tenants’ leasing success.”

According to the announcement, SOI discrimination can, and frequently does, involve additional policies or practices that limit a potential renter’s ability to get housing through vouchers. In states and jurisdictions with current SOI rights, refusing to accept vouchers and other public aid to pay rent, or imposing additional conditions, can be considered housing discrimination. Thus, maintaining these rules is crucial to ensure that everyone have equal access to the rental market.

“There is growing evidence that state and local laws prohibiting Source of Income discrimination improve voucher utilization rates for public housing authorities and expand housing and neighborhood choices for voucher holders,” said Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. “As part of our role at HUD, we believe it is imperative to support evidence-based policies that advance HUD’s mission to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”

Local and state organizations may enforce illegal SOI discrimination and conduct fair housing testing to root it out.

“Fair housing testing is an indispensable investigative tool to root out housing discrimination and FHEO encourages testing activities designed to identify discrimination that violates the Fair Housing Act,” said Demeteria McCain, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “As I made clear in my February 2024 memo, Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) recipients may use HUD funds to design source of income discrimination testing projects to detect discrimination that may violate the Fair Housing Act or state or local laws.”

To read the full HUD release, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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