March 13, 2024

HUD: Website Launched to Combat Source of Income Discrimination for Families Using Housing Vouchers

HUD’s new website serves as a “one-stop shop” for HUD stakeholders, offers tools to reduce Source of Income discrimination.

Today, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, Richard J. Monocchio, announced the launch of HUD’s new website detailing protections against Source of Income (SOI) discrimination for families with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). SOI discrimination is the practice where landlords, owners, and real estate brokers refuse to rent to current or prospective qualified tenants with an HCV or other forms of public assistance. The Source of Income Protections website serves as a “one-stop shop” for HUD stakeholders that summarizes existing materials to explain what SOI discrimination looks like, identifies states and local jurisdictions that prohibit it, and provides resources for people who believe they have experienced this form 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 alignment with the principles laid out in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for a Renter’s Bill of Rights, and at a time where lower income families face tremendous challenges finding safe, quality, and affordable housing. Leveraging all its resources, HUD is dedicated 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.”

SOI discrimination can, and often does, include other policies or practices that impact a potential renter’s ability to attain housing using vouchers. In states and jurisdictions covered by existing SOI protections, refusal to accept vouchers and other public assistance to pay rent, or adding additional requirements, can constitute as a form of housing discrimination. Thus, enforcing these protections is a critical component to ensuring people have fair 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.”

If you feel you have experienced housing choice voucher discrimination and where you live has a state or local source of income protection law, reach out to your local housing authority, fair housing organization, or legal aid. If you believe you were discriminated against under the Fair Housing Act or other federal civil rights authorities, you can file a complaint at or with a Fair Housing Assistance Program if one exists in your area.

This post was originally published here.