Renting a new home is within reach for more Illinois individuals and families this year as a result of an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act. The amendment bans discrimination in housing based on Source of Income (SOI), which includes Social Security, veteran housing benefits, Housing Choice Vouchers or other sources of non-wage income.
The REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley, along with four northern Illinois REALTOR® associations, launched a website to explain the benefits of the law to landlords. In addition to creating reliability and stability for landlords, the new law expands housing options to additional renters. Visit www.knowthenewlaw.com for more information.
“Illinois REALTORS® worked closely with legislators in Springfield to ensure this bill was beneficial to both renters and landlords, and we’re looking forward to seeing those benefits come to fruition with this new law,” said Chris Studebaker, CEO of the REALTOR® Association of the Fox Valley. “This law will make more housing options available to the people who are in the most need.”
While there are some regions in the state, such as Cook County, that already include SOI as a protected class, for the vast majority of Illinois, this is a new requirement for landlords.
“This is a win for housing providers, as it opens up a new market of potential tenants, and it is a step toward a more just and equitable housing market for individuals and families in Illinois who are looking to rent a home,” said John Gormley, CEO of Mainstreet.
Tenants must apply and qualify for the property just as a market rate tenant is required to apply. Voucher holders are required to pay the landlord on average 30 percent of their monthly income while the remainder comes directly from the Public Housing Authority (PHA). Additionally, should the voucher tenant lose their job, they can request an adjustment which could pay 100 percent of their rent.