[ Last update ] June 30, 2003

HB 2280 - Source of Income Amendment to Illinois HR Act

Description: This bill would amend the Illinois Human Rights Act by adding a new category of persons protected from discrimination in residential (rental) real estate transactions: those who receive income or rent subsidies. Thus, a landlord could not discriminate on the basis of source-of-income; a landlord could not categorically refuse to rent to Section 8-holders (or recipients of other income or rent subsidies).

This does not mean a landlord would have to accept every Section 8-holder; a landlord could still use all the legitimate criteria used in screening every tenant, such as rent payment history, criminal record, references, and so on.  Furthermore, this bill would not apply to landlords who operate buildings that do not "qualify" for Section 8 payments.  An example might be a building that contains lead-based paint hazards falling outside the Federal guidelines for mandatory removal.  Section 8 cannot make payments to any Landlord who's property does not qualify under Section 8 rules. Denial under such a circumstance would be a legal. Such regulatory agency (in this case, EPA vs. HUD) contradictions are not uncommon.

What's At Stake: Ability to make use of Federal Section 8 subsidy to alleviate rent costs.

Analysis: In Illinois, there is a severe shortage of low-income housing: 39% of renters are unable to obtain affordable housing (housing which costs no more than 30% of a family's income), and over 400,000 families spend over half their income on rent. In states like Illinois, it is imperative that renters be able to take advantage of rent subsidies like Section 8. Despite the affordable housing crisis in Illinois, many low-income families who receive Section 8 vouchers are unable to use them. Families often turn their vouchers back in -as many as 30-50% in a given year. And many families who do use their Section 8 vouchers are pressured into taking substandard or otherwise undesirable apartments; all because many landlords refuse to rent to Section 8 tenants.

Current Status: House Rules
Last taken on: April 6, 2003
Comments: Re-referred to House Rules on 4/6/03 after passing House Rules and Judicial Committee

Legislative Committee: Judicial - Civil Law

State of Illinois Website: Full Bill Text > HB 2280

Main Legislative Sponsors: House
William Delgado (D) - District 3
Calvin Giles (D) - District 8

Co-Sponsors: House
Monique Davis (D) - District 27
Julie Hamos (D) - District 18
Constance Howard (D) - District 32
John Jones (R) - District 107
Lovana Jones (D) - District 5