After a 10-year campaign, the Cook County Board of Commissioners amended the county’s Human Rights Ordinance in 2013 to include protections for Housing Choice Voucher holders. Prior to the amendment, the ordinance included protections against discrimination based on source of income, but included an exception for voucher holders. An ambitious campaign to raise awareness of discrimination against voucher holders, share personal stories and reveal the racially segregated distribution of voucher holders in the county contributed to the success of this amendment.
The ordinance now requires that all tenants have the opportunity to be screened for a unit in an equal manner, but does not necessarily force landlords to accept all housing vouchers. The amendment also prohibits landlords from charging higher security deposits because a tenant uses a voucher, which is a common practice in the area.
For More Info:
Betsy Shuman-Moore, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Phone: (312) 630-9744