The fight against source of income discrimination (SOID) has been heavily covered in the news over the past year. SOID is when a housing provider refuses housing based on an applicant’s source of income. SOID occurs when income sources such as disability, social security, child support, school loans and other non-wage income sources like housing choice vouchers are denied by a housing provider. INLIVIAN, Habitat for Humanity and other non-profit organizations have been urging Charlotte’s City Council to amend the Fair Housing Ordinance to provide protections against income discrimination. INLIVIAN’s Resident Advisory Council (RAC) is also a partner in this effort and has been working to educate residents in our communities on the impact of SOID and the increased challenges it creates when trying to access housing. On February 22nd, RAC, INLIVIAN, Habitat for Humanity, NAACP Charlotte and other organizations, all a part of the 32 organizations that make up the All Income Counts Coalition, held a rally in front of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center to push for the ordinance to be amended during City Council’s Business Meeting.
RAC stood tall with their signs in hand, marching to the chant of “all income counts.” There were residents from across the city raising their voices and taking a stand against SOID. The rally’s efforts did not go unnoticed, local news stations were present to capture the event. The rally, in addition to all of the actions taken by the coalition, helped make a difference as the City Council voted favorably on three items focused on protecting renters from SOID:
- Create a requirement that all rental units built with city funds accept Housing Choice Vouchers.
- Create a local advisory committee of affordable housing professionals, housing providers, advocates and residents to address the challenges of Source of Income Discrimination (SOID) in the City of Charlotte.
- Determine whether to adopt changes to the local Fair Housing Ordinance based upon results of the advisory committee.
We want to thank RAC for joining the fight against SOID and continuing to make a difference, but we’re not finished! Discrimination in any form should never be tolerated.