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High Density Housing

Fair Housing in the United States

Discrimination against tenants can take many forms, with landlords and brokers discriminating based on a tenant’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, family makeup, criminal background—the list goes on.

One particularly heinous form of discrimination is against those who use housing vouchers to pay a portion of their rent. These tenants are low-income and are overwhelmingly people of color, families with children, people with disabilities, and elderly. A number of localities across the country have made it illegal to discriminate against those with vouchers (also called source of income protections).
 
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After hearing from community partners on the ground, Housing Rights Initiative has begun to investigate this type of discrimination amongst brokers and landlords, and educate the public about it. In March 2021, HRI announced a lawsuit against 88 real estate companies in New York City for discriminating against tenants with vouchers.

We are continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, and Virginia. We are also working with community partners across the country to determine the pervasiveness of source of income discrimination in other localities.
Fair Housing - Massachusetts
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Massachusetts
In 1971, Massachusetts amended Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts General Laws to prohibit Section 8 discrimination in the provision of housing. The legislature then amended that law again in 1989 to include even stronger protections against voucher discrimination. Today, approximately 22,000 households in Massachusetts use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.

 

HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in Massachusetts. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in Massachusetts, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact MA@housingrightsus.org.
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New York

In April 2019, the New York State Human Right Law was amended to include discrimination protections for lawful source of income. In New York State, 229,100 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.

 

In March 2021, HRI announced a lawsuit against 88 real estate companies in New York City for discriminating against tenants with housing vouchers. In April 2021, HRI announced an investigation into this type of discrimination in Westchester.


HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in New York State. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in New York, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact info@housingrightsus.org.

Fair Housing - NJ
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New Jersey

In 2002, New Jersey amended their Law Against Discrimination to include source of income as a protected class. In New Jersey, 72,500 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.


HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in New Jersey. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in New Jersey, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact NJ@housingrightsus.org.

Fair Housing - Virginia
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Virginia

In 2020, Virginia amended their Fair Housing Law to include source of income as a protected class. In Virginia, 47,100 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.


HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in Virginia. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in Virginia, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact VA@housingrightsus.org.

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California

In 2020, California amended their Fair Employment and Housing Act to include SB 329, which provides discrimination protections for all housing voucher recipients. In California, over 300,000 households use Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) to help pay their rent.

HRI is continuing to educate the public about and combat source of income discrimination in California. If you’ve experienced source of income discrimination in California, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact CA@housingrightsus.org.

Fair Housing - California
Fair Housing - Contact
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If you have been discriminated against while seeking housing

Please email discrimination@housingrightsUS.org or fill out the contact form below:

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