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Source of income laws overview

State and local source of income laws or ordinances prohibit discrimination against renters and homebuyers based on the source of their income.

Such laws generally cover many potential sources of income including federal benefits like Social Security and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Many source of income laws treat federal rental assistance as a protected source of income and thus make it unlawful to refuse to rent to a household on the grounds that it participates in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. This is an important protection that can help to expand the housing choices available to voucher holders, including in resource-rich neighborhoods where affordable housing options might otherwise be unavailable. In jurisdictions where source of income protections have been adopted, educational campaigns and outreach to landlords and tenants may be needed to ensure all parties are aware of current requirements under the law.

Additional Resources

Administering agencies

State and local housing departments, human rights commissions

City and County governments

Policy objectives

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