In a significant move towards fair housing practices, Illinois has passed a groundbreaking bill, HB 2775, which prohibits discrimination in housing based on an individual’s participation in the HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. This legislation marks a crucial step in protecting individuals' "source of income" under the Illinois Human Rights Act, akin to protections based on race and religion.
1. Scope of the Bill:
Thanks to the efforts of the Chicagoland Apartment Association (CAA), the bill's scope was significantly reduced, eliminating additional regulatory burdens that were initially proposed. Michael Mini, Executive Vice President of the CAA, explains the negotiation process and the bill's evolution.
2. Effective Date and Definition:
HB 2775, set to take effect on January 1, 2023, specifically defines "source of income" as "the lawful manner by which an individual supports himself or herself and his or her dependents." This inclusion in the Illinois Human Rights Act elevates the source of income to a protected characteristic.
3. CAA's Role:
The CAA played a crucial role in shaping the final version of the bill, advocating for the interests of housing providers while recognizing the importance of "source of income" protection. The association's negotiation efforts resulted in a neutral position on the final bill.
4. National Context:
Illinois joins the ranks of 20 states and Washington, D.C., in enacting source of income protections. This move is intended to increase participation in the HCV program, though challenges such as inspection delays and lack of support from local housing agencies persist.
5. National Apartment Association's (NAA) Resources:
Housing providers can leverage NAA's new interactive fair housing resource to stay updated on changing requirements under federal and state fair housing laws. The resource includes comprehensive lists of protected classes for major metro areas.
6. Future Advocacy:
While the source of income protections aims to encourage housing provider participation in the HCV program, broader issues such as inspection delays and fair market rent miscalculations persist. NAA is actively working towards program improvement through its support for the Choice in Affordable Housing Act (S. 1820 and H.R. 6880).
Illinois' commitment to source of income protections reflects a broader national trend in fair housing practices. As the landscape evolves, staying informed and engaged with resources like NAA's fair housing tool is crucial for housing providers navigating the changing regulatory environment.
If you want to learn more about checking the National Apartment Association: https://www.naahq.org/illinois-passes-source-income-protections
Stay tuned for more updates on housing regulations and industry insights.
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