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Source of income (SOI) discrimination is the practice of landlords, owners, and real estate brokers to refuse to rent to prospective tenants because of the origin of the funds that the tenant has available. This typically manifests in bias against tenants whose “non-wage” income does not come from traditionally understood employment as an employee or contractor. The SOI discrimination bans outlaw this practice, meaning landlords cannot refuse to rent to tenants who seek to housing assistance vouchers, subsidies, veterans’ benefits, or other forms of public assistance.as for their rent payment.
Renters at risk of discrimination may receive income from a variety of sources that include social security, disability benefits, supplemental security income, public or private sources, all forms of federal, state, or local assistance payments or subsidies, including but not limited to rent vouchers, child support, spousal support, and public assistance, court ordered payments, payments received as gifts, bequests, and/or annuities or life insurance policies.
Not necessarily – source of income discrimination bans mandate that renters with non-wage income have an equal opportunity to rent a property, but does not mandate their ability to do so. Reasons a non-wage income prospective renter may be unable to rent a rental property include, but are not limited to: - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its subsidiaries who facilitate housing voucher/subsidy programs maintain a list of qualifications a property must meet to be paid for with housing vouchers. If the prospective rental property does not meet these requirements, the housing vouchers cannot be used there.
Landlords may not communicate a preference for tenants with certain sources of income or treat a prospective tenant differently based upon their income source. Landlords are also prohibited from misrepresenting the availability of housing stock in order to dissuade applications from tenants who rely upon a particular income source.
Landlords continue to have the ability to screen prospective tenants based upon lawful qualification criterion. SOI would make it so a prospective tenant with, for example, social security income would have equal opportunity to rent a property and could not be discriminated against based upon their income source. SOI does not require a tenant to accept lower rent nor would it require a landlord to maintain compliance with state or federal subsidized housing standards.
SOI would allow all tenants to enjoy equal access to housing stock regardless of the source of their income. A tenant that suffered discrimination on the basis of source of income could avail themselves of administrative and judicial remedies ranging from filing a Discrimination Complaint with the City of Dayton Human Relations Council. Oversight of a Discrimination Complaint rests with a board that has the power to interview witnesses, subpoena evidence, and order remedies ranging from damages to injunctive relief.
If you believe you have been discriminated per the City of Dayton Revised Code of General Ordinances (R.C.G.O) 32.02-32.21 and 32.99, you may contact us to discuss the filing of a complaint. A housing complaint must be filed within one year from the date of the occurrence of the alleged discriminatory act. You may file your complaint by contacting the Human Relations Council (HRC) at 937-333-1400 or daytonhrc.org.
The HRC’s services are free to the public.