CHICAGO – Landlords and property sellers would no longer be able to discriminate against a potential tenant or buyer due to their income source under a new law passed by state Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago, and signed by the governor Monday.

“Housing discrimination is still a real problem in Chicago, particularly in minority communities that are too often shut out from investment,” Ford said. “This measure aims to root out discriminatory behavior in real estate transactions targeted toward an individual’s source of income, and help families get the housing they need. Specifically, this new law will help single mothers on child support, seniors on a fixed income and others who rely on non-wage assistance but still deserve a roof over their head.” 

Ford’s House Bill 2775 helps prohibit discrimination in real estate transactions by adding source of income to the civil rights violations in the Human Rights Act. Common examples of non-wage income include social security, retirement income and public assistance. According to the Illinois Coalition for Fair Housing, over half of Illinois households have been susceptible to source of income discrimination because of non-wage income, and about 99,000 households who use Housing Choice Vouchers to pay their rent often experience source of income discrimination.

“It’s unfair that residents have been excluded from communities because of how they receive money – even in situations that they can afford a place,” Ford said. “I am incredibly thankful for the continuous work from advocates aiming to stop discrimination and help families receive the housing they deserve. More work remains to fully address housing discrimination, but today was an important step in the right direction.”

Rep. La Shawn FordRep. La Shawn Ford

8th District

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