The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Gov. Code §12955, et seq.) prohibits discrimination based on source of income.
However, its definition of source of income does not include Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and other rental assistance.
In July 2018, the San Diego City Council amended the Municipal Code to add a Source of Income Ordinance (SOI), which includes Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance as a protected source of income.
Effective August 1, 2019, landlords with rental properties in the City of San Diego cannot decline a tenant based only on the household receiving rental assistance from a government or nonprofit administered program.
What Kind of Rental Assistance is Covered under San Diego’s New Protection?
The Municipal Code states:
Source of income means all lawful, verifiable sources of income, or rental assistance from any federal, state, local, or nonprofit-administered benefit or subsidy program, or any financial aid from any rental assistance program, homeless assistance program, security deposit assistance program, or housing subsidy program, whether paid directly to the program participant, landlord, or representative of either.
This includes Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers; non-profit rental subsidies issued by organizations such as those assisting Veterans, seniors, and individuals experiencing homelessness or with disabilities; and security deposit assistance programs.
What Does it Mean for Housing Providers?
Housing providers are no longer allowed to state a preference for tenants without a housing subsidy.
Nor may housing providers treat tenants who receive rental assistance different than those who do not receive assistance.
Pending State Legislation
In addition to San Diego’s local ordinance, California’s state legislature is considering a bill that would create statewide source of income protection.
SB 329 (Mitchell) would add to the list of protected sources of income the following: income paid directly to a landlord by a federal, state or local housing assistance program, including the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. The bill passed in the Senate and is currently being considered in the Assembly.
For More Information please call: The Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.
Source of Income Hotline: (833) 801-4420
TTY (877) 734-2929 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit www.lassd.org/sourceofincome.
The Legal Aid Society of San Diego Inc. offices are accessible to persons with disabilities.