Action Alert: September 30, 2021

 

September 30, 2021 | by Amber Smock

Fight Source of Income Housing Discrimination in Illinois

 

Cathleen O’Brien

Community Organizer – Housing

cobrien@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2160

Nationwide Eviction Crisis is Looming

If you live in Illinois, we need your help today to fight against Source of Income (SOI) discrimination in housing, statewide! [Quick link to email your Illinois State Senator here.]

The Problem

In most of Illinois, property owners can turn down potential tenants because of the way they pay their rent (aka their source of income). Landlords may not want tenants who will pay their rent with housing subsidies, Social Security, cash, veteran benefits, COVID-19 emergency rental assistance, or many other nontraditional sources of income. There is a nationwide eviction crisis looming. More people than ever are having trouble getting and keeping a stable place to live. We have a unique opportunity to make a difference in Illinois this fall by passing HB 2775, which would prohibit housing discrimination based on your source of income.

The Solution

Illinois House Bill 2775 would:

  • Protect from housing discrimination veterans, mothers receiving child support, domestic abuse survivors, people with disabilities, and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program participants
  • Prohibit landlords from having blanket policies refusing COVID-19 related emergency rental assistance

What We Need To Do

This important bill passed the Illinois House this past spring session and currently has 21 sponsors in the Senate. We need the support of your State Senators to move this bill forward during the fall veto session in October. Please send a letter to your Illinois State Senator to support HB 2775 at this link.

[Again, here’s the link to send a letter to your State Senator]



More About the Problem

Many people in our state are newly housing insecure due to the pandemic.  Illinois has made a lot of rental assistance available to its residents in these uncertain times, but there has been one big problem: The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) distributed Emergency Rental Assistance in 2020, but 39.9% of property owners did not complete their end of the application, which meant their tenants couldn’t get these emergency funds from the state to pay their rent. Renters with nontraditional sources of income have always been unfairly locked out of communities because of SOI discrimination. This pandemic has made the issue worse to a point where it cannot be ignored any longer.